Call for better Phuket beach warnings

11 Jul 2011

The friend of an Australian national who drowned in the sea off Phuket last week has said there should be more prominent warnings. Jennifer Laidley, 44, died after going for a swim at Karon Beach last Monday at dusk.  

Ms Laidley died on the first evening of a long-planned holiday with friend Lisa Crosland, also 44. Ms Crosland said that she watched her friend enter the water, although she did not go in herself, and then disappear.

When Ms Laidley did not reappear, her friend reported her missing to police just before 20:00. A search that night and the following day did not reveal any trace of Ms Laidley, and her body washed up later just a little farther along from where she vanished.  

After arriving back in Australia, Ms Crosland said that despite the fact that red flags were displayed on the beach they were pretty low-key. She said that the warning signs needed to be located in more prominent positions and that staff and signs at Phuket’s resorts and hotels ought to alert people of the dangers of swimming in the sea between April and November.

She said that if staff had warned them of the perils of riptides at this time of year when they arrived at their hotel, then Ms Laidley would probably not have gone swimming.

At least 10 people have drowned along the long stretch of Karon Beach during the last two years. Safety campaigners and lifeguards have said that tourists need to be warned that ignoring the red danger flags can be fatal.

Tags: better Phuket warnings

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