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Pattaya Daily News

12 May 2014 :: 13:05:30 pm 85761

Lifeguards back on Phuket beaches in a week or so

PHUKET: Lifeguards will be ready to go back on the beaches in a week or so, once 38 rescue boards have been repaired in order to comply with the terms of the contract, and once a performance guarantee has been organised with the bank.
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Some volunteer lifeguards are on duty at beaches in the meantime but swimmers are advised that coverage is by no means complete.

Prathaiyut Jaiyuan, who is co-owner of Phuket Lifeguard Co, said on Friday (May 9), “We will get the documents from the bank in 8-10 days. We have had to pledge our house and land to get the performance guarantee under the terms of the contract.”

He explained that running the lifeguards on Phuket’s beaches is more a labour of love than a serious business.

“This lifeguard company gives us a return of no more than 10 per cent. Realistically, you need to get at least 30 to 40 per cent if you want to call it a real business. That’s why no one else bid for this contract.

“The contract is for 10 months only. We will get B22 million, which is B2 million more than last year, but that extra B2 million will go to buying new boards, oxygen tanks, rescue tubes, air bags and stretchers.

“The boards have to be made and there is a queue for that. It will be two months before we can get them.

“So now we have 38 old boards that have to be restored to good condition before we can sign the contract. It’s our responsibility to have all 38 boards ready before we can sign the contract.

“Now there are some volunteer lifeguards on some beaches – jetski people and some unpaid lifeguards who are free to help, and we just use boogie boards instead of our special boards, which we are repairing.

“Last year we saved 928 people from drowning. A total of 23 people died [around Phuket] though not all on our beaches – some deaths were at Racha Island or from sinking boats.

Mr Prathaiyut said that he is now trying to find jobs for 20 lifeguards who are to be laid off under the terms of the new contract.

“The policy to cut 20 employees, leaving us with 88, comes from the OrBorJor [Phuket Provincial Administration Organisation]. We will help these 20 employees to get jobs as lifeguards at hotels or any other job we can find for them.”

The reduction in numbers will mean that the remaining 88 can receive pay rises. “The pay of the regular employees will be increased from B11,000 to B15,000 a month and for team leaders it will rise from B14,000 to B18,000.”

The increases are overdue, he said. “We have all been working for three years without a raise.”

View the original story on The Phuket News

Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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