Phuket tourist police promote beach safety

27 Jun 2011

Tourist police on Phuket have begun a campaign to advise tourists of the dangers of swimming in the island’s seas during the rainy season. Officers and volunteers started distributing leaflets last week at what are rated as the southern Thai island’s most dangerous beaches.   

In a project backed by Raya Divers, the flyers are being given to foreign visitors at Karon, Patong, Kata and Nai Harn. A number of tourists drowned at these beaches last year, with most having ignored warning flags and then getting into difficulties with riptides.   

The 10,000 English language flyers printed so far clearly show that a yellow flag indicates the seas are treacherous and a red means do not enter the waters. The handbills also warn of the riptides and what to do if a person is caught by one.    

Most beach fatalities occur when swimmers are caught in riptides and then try to fight their way back to the beach. The flyer says the best way to get away from a riptide is to stay calm and swim parallel with the beach until the current stops pulling.

Following last year’s tragedies, most of which took place at Karon, tourist police volunteers recommended the course of action to try and cut down the number of needless deaths.

Tourism related businesses on Phuket also say they would like passengers arriving on flights at the island’s airport to be warned of the perils of riptides in the rainy season and accommodation venues to prominently display posters with the same message.   

Tags: Phuket police beach safety

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