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Phuket lifeguards warn beachgoers after 2 near-drownings in a day




FILE PHOTO: Nai Harn Beach

Phuket lifeguards are urging beachgoers on the southern island to be “careful when doing water activities and swim only in the areas marked as safe” as well as to “follow lifeguards’ suggestions” after a 6 year old girl and a Russian man were plucked from the water after getting into difficulty in 1 day.

The Nai Harn beach chief lifeguard says he rushed to the popular beach, at the southern end of the island, around noon yesterday, when he was alerted to a young swimmer needing assistance. He arrived to discover a 6 year old girl who had just been brought out of the water. She was choking on water and exhausted. The lifeguard team provided immediate first aid before rushing her to hospital. The girl is now in a stable condition and expected to fully recover.

About 4 hours later, the lifeguards were called again to help a Russian man at Ya Nui beach, the next beach south of Yai Larn, not far from Promthep Cape. The man had been swimming with his 2 friends and became separated from the other 2. About 200 metres from the shore, the man started shouting and signalling for help. He was eventually rescued by a lifeguard but was already underwater and unconscious when the guard reached him. He was also rushed to hospital but has since regained consciousness.

Nah Harn’s chief lifeguard also warned parents to keep an eye on their children when they go swimming or doing other water activities.

“Although the waves are not high now, unexpected incidence can happen.”

Phuket’s beaches are currently enjoying the high-season weather, with lighter, generally north-easterly winds and very few waves along the west coast.

SOURCE: The Phuket News


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  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Monday, February 1, 2021 at 4:55 pm

    Beach goers in Phuket? I did not think they had any!
    As the lifeguards were galloping down the beach they would be shouting: quick save the ferang, we need all we can get!

  2. Avatar


    Monday, February 1, 2021 at 5:06 pm

    I think Thai lifeguards could learn a lot from lifeguards in my country, Australia. I don’t know whether lifeguards in Thailand are properly funded by the national government or the provincial governments? Are they properly trained? My experience in Phuket was that I saved the life of someone who clearly was in distress and being dragged out by a rip. No lifeguard responded. Another man who was on a surfboard, who clearly couldn’t surf or swim, drifted on rocks at Kata Noi Beach and the Lifeguard wasn’t watching. This was on a “patrolled beach”. “Rips” are everywhere along the beaches. There are also sharp drop offs, where the sand falls away sharply to deep water (take Karon as an example, which has had a number of fatalities). A properly manned lifeguard station has either a JetSki or boat at the ready at the waters edge (ready to deploy). Llifeguards (yes more than one) should be on duting in their observation tower (not chatting to their friends). I make my own assessment of what’s safe and what is not. The lifeguard Service in Phuket needs a major overhaul. If you want a model for a lifesaving service, you can’t go past our country as a model. We are surrounded by sea on all sides. I say this only so that more lives will not be lost.

    • Avatar


      Monday, February 1, 2021 at 5:42 pm

      I won’t go bungee jumping, skydiving, zillions in Thailand for obvious reasons.

      I will go swimming but I wouldn’t ever solely rely on thai lifeguards to save my life in an emergency. I would only swim at my own risk.

      Personal responsibility can go a long way to helping your cause in life. It should never be the govts responsibility to keep you safe. You have a personal vested interest in protecting yourself. They don’t.

      That said, the same applies to any country, even if I could reasonably expect a western govt ran program to be effective.

      Be it covid, banking, workplace safety, entertainment, be personally responsible.

    • Avatar

      Toby Andrews

      Monday, February 1, 2021 at 6:30 pm

      The lifeguards would all be looking at their Smart Phones, as it seemed half of Thais do hours every day.
      I remember one year they put lifeguard platforms along Pattaya beach.
      Not once did I see a lifeguard on them.
      Well done Jason for saving a person in distress.

    • Avatar


      Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 9:14 pm

      I have a cheaper plan. Put up a sign that says “Swim at your own risk” and translate it into 6 languages.

      Common sense: swim perpendicular to a rip tide rather than against it.

      This should be intuitive…

  3. Avatar


    Monday, February 1, 2021 at 7:09 pm

    At least they are not eaten by shark like in Australia.

  4. Avatar


    Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 12:42 pm

    Is there no “thank you, good job done” for people who risk their own lives to rescue reckless people? Poor world. 🙁 And you are right Eli5, sense of responsibility is helpful but needs initiative. I say thank you to all people who risk their own lives to help others.

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