Hat Mae Ramphueng is one of Rayongs better known attractions, a huge expanse of beach stretching 12 kilometres along the coast with a real, live fishing village marking where the beach finishes. A number of swimming-related deaths are recorded each year, to some extent the cause remains a mystery. It is really not advisable to swim too far out into the sea, although swimming near the beach is perfectly safe.
But, doing some more research using the Thai spelling of Mae Ramphueng Beach, I came across a video on YouTube that, at first, I thought was some kind of tourist video showing how nice Mae Ramphueng Beach is but as I watched it, I saw that it talked about the deaths by drowning at the beach.
The video is completely in the Thai language, but the images make it fairly easy to understand.
There are no mystery deaths at Mae Ramphueng Beach. There are drownings due to rip currents, mainly during monsoon season, and the fact that most Thais cannot swim.
Knowing what to do when one gets caught in a rip current can be the difference between life and death. I am sure that if a Thai got swept out away from shore, most likely while in an inner tube, the first reaction would be to try to swim back (if he knew how to swim). This would most likely result in death. The correct way to get out of a rip current is to swim perpendicular to the current until you are out of it, and then head for shore.
But, see, Thais are superstitious and believing in ghosts, demons, and mysteries are easier to comprehend than actually learning how to swim and how to save yourself if you get in rough seas.
Thais would rather blame evil spirits on airplanes skidding off of a runway, annual road deaths, floods, and making women into widows.
They would rather claim that someone did something in another life and are now paying the consequence instead of learning the basics of swimming and drown-proofing.
And, I also read that the Thai Government erected rip current warning signs at Mae Ramphueng Beach, only to have the local vendors rip them down claiming the signs would damage tourism. Thai logic.
Yes, I plan on being safe at Mae Ramphueng Beach and won’t wander far out in the water preferring to wait for low tides. I just hope that tourists watch the video and know what to do if they get caught in a rip tide at Mae Ramphueng Beach.
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