Koh Phangan Beach Safety
Koh Phangan beach safety is very important. On Koh Phangan Island there are no lifeguards or flag systems in use so you need to be extra careful when visiting any of the beaches or swimming in the ocean. There are many beautiful beaches to visit here but unlike other tourist destinations in Thailand most are uncrowded or even deserted. This is great if you’re wanting a ‘desert island’ experience and to stay away from the crowds, but can also be dangerous if you don’t take some safety precautions. Below is some important safety information and tips that you should think about before visiting any beach on Koh Phangan.
Learn how to spot a rip current and keep clear of it. A rip current, commonly referred to simply as a rip is one specific kind of water current that can be found near beaches. Although rip currents are very rare on Koh Phangan you should read more information about rip currents so you have a good idea on how to spot one. Its also a very good idea to check the latest weather forecast for Koh Phangan before visiting any beach. You don’t want to be relaxing on the beach when a storms on its way as there maybe nowhere to shelter.
Don’t swim at deserted beaches if you’re on your own. If you get in to trouble, nobody will be there to help you. Remember there are no lifeguards here on Koh Phangan. If you do get into trouble in the water and there are people around, stay calm. Signal for help, by holding up one arm and waving, float and wait for assistance. Swimming in the ocean takes different skills and can be more difficult than swimming in a pool, so make sure you’re a strong and confident swimmer. If you’re not then don’t venture out further than you can easily stand on your feet.
Never run or dive into the water as there maybe rocks just under the surface that you cannot see from above. When walking the beach or into the water watch out for dead coral at it can be sharp and cut your feet. Live coral is a living animal and is also sharp, so when snorkelling don’t be walking on it as it’s harmful to both yourself and the coral.
Sometimes there may also be spiky sea urchins or jellyfish around so be careful. During storms jellyfish can be washed nearer to the shore and are not always easy to see. In the unlikely event that you do get a jellyfish sting, this can be treated by rinsing the area with salt water, applying vinegar or a baking soda paste, and taking a pain reliever.
Most jellyfish stings are not life threatening but someone having a severe reaction to a jellyfish sting will require emergency care as soon as possible. That may include: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), an epinephrine injection, for anaphylactic shock, life support to stabilise breathing, heart rate and blood pressure, antivenin medication, if the sting is from a box jellyfish and pain medicine. For peace of mind and to be extra safe we recommend you seek medical treatment for any jellyfish stings, just to be sure it is not serious.
Sea urchins have globe to flattened-shaped bodies covered with spines. They are non-aggressive marine animals found all over the world. They live in shallow, rocky bottoms, or hide in sandy cervices. Human contact with sea urchins is either accidental or intentional. People accidentally step on them in shallow surf, or intentionally pick up the urchins, unaware that they must handle the spines with care to avoid injury. Sea urchins are venomous, so prompt and proper care is important. In the event of a sea urchin sting, stay calm and follow protocol to avoid serious infection.
Some more tips and advice on Koh Phangan beach safety include: Don’t swim under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Never swim straight after eating a large meal. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Use a high level sunscreen and re-apply after swimming. Wear a t-shirt and hat to help protect you from the sun. The beaches here on the island are very safe so use your common sense and take note of our Koh Phangan beach safety information above. Explore, relax, go snorkelling, do some water sports and enjoy the pristine beaches around Koh Phangan!