Phuket Beach Safety
Phuket Activities | Ocean safety rules and life guards on Phuket Island
In general Phuket Beaches are as safe as any other however every year there are cases of tourists drowning many if not all of these cases could have been avoided with a little knowledge. Some involve alcohol but most are the unfortunate result of bad judgement and inexperience.
Many of the most popular beaches do have life guards on duty during peak seasons but you should check that there is someone on duty and check the designated swim area they are watching.
At the end of the day your personal safety should be a personal concern. You should make every effort to ensure your own safety, this includes being able to swim and have basic knowledge of the conditions you might be exposed to.
More tips on staying safe in the sea
Over the years, the majority of people I've personally helped out of potentially dangerous situations have all been fairly week swimmers with no knowledge of how to escape even a mild rip current. These swimmers all stared in shallow water but were not aware that a person standing waist deep in water can be dragged out quite easily into deeper waters.
How To Spot a Rip Current
When you first get to the beach and you intend to go swimming you should take a few moments to look for the tell tail sings of a rip current:
How to get out of a rip current
It's similar to being in a river and floating down stream, except when you're in the sea this often unexpected feeling of being dragged out to sea often causes panic. Panic is probably the biggest cause of rip current incidents that don't end well.
If you find yourself in a situation where you are caught in a rip current if you can remember a few basics you can get out yourself. Those of you who are also certified SCUBA Divers will be familiar with this mantra.
STOP - THINK - ACT
Another option is to just float. Eventually you will reach the end of the current. Then either swim parallel to the shore to get out of the path of the rip current and once you do so, only then swim toward the beach OR Or you could just float and draw attention to yourself by waving your arm and yelling for help (which you can do because you are not swimming alone...right?)
If you see someone else in trouble
It doesn't matter who you are, or how strong a swimmer you are (or think you are) NEVER EVER try to swim against a rip current. You won't make it.
With a basic understanding of them, rip currents are just a natural phenomenon of the sea. And although they should definitely be respected and where possible avoided, armed with a little bit of knowledge the life that you save could be yours.