First and foremost, Thailand is a beach destination, every year millions of tourists flock to Thailand to indulge themselves on what are undoubtedly some of the best beaches in the world. It must also be said that due to the relatively calm conditions throughout most of the year that Thailand has some of the safest beaches in the world. It must be pointed out though that a killer lurks beneath the waves, patrolling the beaches of Thailand, waiting for it’s next victim, the same killer that collectively claims more deaths at sea than shark attacks, box jellyfish, boating accidents and diving mishaps. The killer is of course the “rip current” aka (rip tide), misunderstood, and to the untrained eye very hard to identify, rip currents can be present even in seemingly calm water.
Most of the popular beaches in Thailand use the warning flag system to warn swimmers of potential risks and hazards, don’t ignore the flags and don’t presume it is safe if there are no flags present. Rip currents cause unnecessary deaths because they are misunderstood, most people panic when they realize they are being rapidly pulled out to sea, they start to frantically swim against the current in an effort to reach the beach. Most rip currents are only a few metres wide, they commonly dissipate beyond the surf, swimming parallel to the current, treading water or floating until the current stops, and above all remaining calm are preferable to trying to swim against the current. I’m certainly no expert on rip currents, and neither are the people who needlessly die while in their grip, but I believe awareness is a big life saver, after doing my research before writing this post I learned a few things which might one day save my life. If you have just read this post, perhaps I just got your attention and you want to learn more about rip currents in Thailand, like I said I’m no expert but here is an excellent article about rip currents on tezzasthaiinfo.blogspot.com, there are some excellent life saving tips and an in-depth explanation of what rip currents are, what causes rip currents, and when they are likely to occur.
Rip Current Alert.
You may see one of these signs (below) trying to catch your attention at the beach, they are their to help you understand the “flag warning system”, have a nice day at the beach.