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Phuket Lifesaving Carnival Set For September 11

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Phuket Lifesaving Carnival set for September 11

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The organizers hope to inject some Australian enthusiasm for lifesaving skills into the Phuket community.

PHUKET: -- The Phuket Lifeguard Club’s third annual carnival, this year to be held at Loma Park in Patong on September 11, is targeting youngsters in order to boost surf lifesaving skills on the island.

“We want to promote water safety and surf awareness in a fun environment to appeal to the local community to embrace lifesaving as a sport. We further hope to strengthen partnerships and relations with individuals and clubs in other countries as well as build our own local skills and resources in the process,” said Australian Jayne Macdougall, one of the event’s key organizers.

“This event is important to Phuket for a number of reasons: to challenge our own Phuket lifeguards; to continue to develop lifesaving and lifeguards in Thailand; and to promote water safety skills and a community interest in beach and water safety.”

A regular return visitor to Phuket, Ms Macdougall believes water safety on the island is slowly improving.

“We are seeing more positive attempts to rescue swimmers who are in difficulty and other positive actions. We are seeing better equipped and trained lifeguards on Phuket beaches and we are seeing good co-operation between the authorities and the lifeguard contractors,” she said.

“Statistics of rescues and trends are being collected and analyzed and this can only further improve planning and resource allocation.

"Whilst there are still some areas that need to be developed and improved – notably signage and warnings for swimmers, additional equipment and so on – current developments are a major step in the right direction,” she added.

The day’s events are open to Thais and foreigners, local residents and visitors.

Registration opens at 8:30am and events will commence at 9am, with a break at 10:30 for the official opening by the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization.

Age categories range from under-15s to over-50s for the competitive events, which include a surf race, beach sprints, beach relays, a rescue board race, iron man and iron woman events, a 2km beach run and a special team event: the Phuket Rescue Relay.

“Skilled lifeguards will be on hand for water safety, and we will have support from Phuket International Hospital if first aid is required,” Ms Macdougall said.

The event is presented by the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization and sponsored by the Phuket Gazette.

For more information, call Vitanya Chuayuan (Thai) at 081-797 4775 or Jayne MacDougall (English) at 089-6452576. Alternatively, visit PhuketLifeguard.com or email lifeguard [at ] phuketlifeguard.com.

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-- Phuket Gazette 2010-08-20

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