Their numbers were few, but, fortunately, so were the number of accidents as rescue workers patrolled Jomtien Beach on Labor Day.
Rescuer Wanlop Bunchu said providing safety for the large May 1 crowd was difficult, since the department is understaffed. But frequent loudspeaker announcements and some luck generally kept people safe.
Officers make frequent loud announcements on beach speakers. It takes away from the calm, relaxing beach atmosphere, but at least lets people know about lost children, illegally parked cars and traffic workarounds.
Rescuer Wanlop Bunchu said his department is understaffed, but luckily there were no major incidents on Labor Day.
Most problematic are the banana boats providing rides offshore. Minor accidents – such as capsizing or riders falling off – are common as the boats are as slippery as, well, bananas. Most times, though, the accidents are minor.
Wanlop explained that the boats are used only by those 16 and older, everyone wears life jackets and the rafts are towed only 100 meters offshore, where most adults can stand or swim when they fall off.
Anything more serious and rescue workers bring the injured to shore and coordinate transport to local hospitals, he said.