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News Forum - 17 year old drowns on Christmas while swimming at Southern Thailand beach


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On Christmas Day, a 17 year old drowned while swimming at a beach in southern Thailand. His body was found yesterday about 500 to 600 metres from shore. The teenager went to the Nai Pret beach in Nakhon Si Thammarat’s Khanom district with two of his friends. The current was strong on Saturday and were around two to three metres high. While swimming, the teen got swept away by the waves. His friends were able to swim to shore, but he disappeared. Rescuers on jet skis searched for the teen on Saturday night, but had to call off the search […]

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This a really tragic happening for someone so young. The sea and beaches are so unpredictable in Thailand, particularly those on the Andaman Sea. Some of the things to be careful of in Phuket. Choose your beach for safe swimming carefully. Beaches that have rock headlands at either end, usually make for gently sloping beaches that gradually get deeper the further you venture out. They also tend to have waves that start to crest further out. Contrast that to beaches that are longer between headlands. Look at the waves and how they are breaking onto the shore. If they break close to the shore, then that's a sign the beach is shelved. There is a short distance of shallow water and then a shelf that drops off sharply. This sort of beach is to be avoided. You will find yourself quickly out of your depth and if you're not a strong swimmer, you will very quickly find the waves washing over you one after the other. You will find it hard to keep above the water and  the waves will make it difficult to get air. The other thing to consider is the sweep and rips. These can carry you out to sea. They are the most common cause of drowning. 

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I say this in the hope that tourists and Thais alike may be safe in the water. I would love to see swim schools established at every school in Thailand. I would also like to see professional life guards who are properly trained in rescue and resuscitation. One lifeguard, sitting in a tower on a four kilometre beach in high season is not enough. So if you're going to Phuket in particular, don't rely on lifeguards. please make safe choices. My favourite beach is Kamala, but even it can be difficult on a windy day. Karon, popular as it is, is dangerous as it has a shelf...which explains the number of drownings there. 

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44 minutes ago, Jason said:

One lifeguard, sitting in a tower on a four kilometre beach in high season is not enough.

A bit like the question how many died on the Thai roads on Christmas Day? On RTP officer ignoring helmets and bad drivers on a 4 km stretch of road  …… is this a Thai thing? 

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Most Thais don't know how to swim which I always find astonishing given the geography of the country.  It's important for parents to teach their kids how to swim at a young age.

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