Bad timing for the TAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand) after they posted a feature on August 10 that promoted surfing off Phuket’s west coast beaches.
Phuket is currently facing a crisis of confidence over the lack of adequate lifeguard services along its west coast beaches, battered annually by heavy seas and deadly rip tides and currents from the south-west monsoon.
Read the TAT story about ‘friendly waves’ from August 10 HERE.
Poor sea conditions prevailed along Thailand’s Andaman and Gulf of Thailand coasts last week prompting warnings that tourists should stay on dry land.
ttrweekly.com reports that a spate of surf-related accidents and fatalities has hit the news since the monsoon season got underway in June. It was compounded by a dispute over the funding of lifeguards and the role of volunteers.
The TAT story, “Phuket and Khao Lak surf spots offer visitors uncrowded friendly waves and warm azure waters,” seems completely out of touch with the current reality. It received a strong thumbs down from International Surf Lifesaving Association marine safety officer and Thailand section chief, Daren Jenner.
“Inviting people to come and surf in the absence of certified lifeguards is negligent and shows a complete disregard for tourist safety.”
The feature declared, “Most of Phuket’s West coast beaches are surfed during the monsoon season. The best spots that can handle a storm swell and produce clean surf include Kata Beach, Kalim Beach, Kamala Beach, Surin Beach and Nai Han Beach.
Read the rest of the story HERE.
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