Now it’s rainy season, also known as monsoon season in Thailand (May – October) and you should be extra careful while swimming due to rough seas with strong rip currents. As late as today, a 55-year-old German man drowned in the sea at Khlong Phrao beach on Koh Chang. A red flag was up at the beach warning tourists not to swim because of strong waves.
Rough seas off the west coast of Phuket during the rainy season.
Now, you should not think twice about going to Thailand during the rainy season because Thailand is amazing all year round; but there are some important things to keep in mind. Here is the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s latest advice for any tourists planning to take part in off-shore activities in Thailand.
- Always use life jackets when taking a boat trip, whether in the sea or river. Take particular care when swimming off coastal areas, especially during the monsoon season. Always comply with warning signs, especially red flags, and only swim in approved beaches.
- Jellyfish can come close to the shore, especially during the rainy season. Their sting can be fatal.
- Heed the advice of locals and officials when going out on boats and get advice from your hotel and the safest boat operators and dive services. Make sure you always listen to the crew and dive masters to ensure you know all safety instructions.
- If you rent jet skis or water sports equipment, make sure that safety precautions are adequate and well in place. Rent only from reputable, licensed and insured operators. Thoroughly check for damage before use and insist on training.
- In the rainy season from May to October, visitors should take good care when swimming, diving, kayaking or white-water rafting in rivers or close to waterfalls, as the currents can be extremely strong.
- Anyone who wants to ask for assistance in case of accidents can contact the Marine Department’s Helpline 1111 or submit complaints with the Tourist Police Hotline 1155. The service is available 24 hours.
If someone is stung by a jellyfish, stay calm and take the injured from the sea and keep them still to reduce the spread of poison. Do not wash or scrub the affected area, treat the area with ammonia or vinegar. Hotels and beach restaurants have been ordered to keep bottles of vinegar easily accessible as part of their First Aid preparation. Seek medical attention.
If you are caught in a rip current, it’s important to stay calm. It won’t pull you under, it will pull you away from shore. Do not fight it and swim against it, swim parallel to the shoreline and when you are out of it, swim back to the shore at a 45-degree angle away from the rip current.