Forces Deployed to Beaches Over Drownings

About 140 police officers were deployed to five beaches in Preah Sihanouk province on Sunday after four people—including three foreigners—drowned at sea in nine days, police said.

Since August 10, Karaboga Suleyla from Turkey, Nikolaev Kirill from Russia, Sharma Naveen from India and Cambodian Kaing Puyheang have drowned at beaches in the province, said Nop Panha, deputy provincial police chief, adding that two others had been rescued.

Vendors on Sihanoukville's O'Chheuteal Beach in 2011 (Creative Commons)
Vendors on Sihanoukville’s O’Chheuteal Beach in 2011 (Creative Commons)

In response, some 140 police were sent to monitor O’Chheuteal, O’Tres, Prey Treng, Chey Chumneas and Independence beaches as high winds have resulted in choppy seas, said provincial police chief Chuon Narin.

“We have deployed many forces at O’Chheuteal beach today because the waves can easily cause danger for people when they go to play in the water in the sea because the weather has changed and brings the heavy winds and the large waves,” Brigadier General Narin said.

“The waves crash overhead and pull people into the deep water and the people can drown when the waves return,” he said.

Along with the deployment of police officers, two high-speed police boats and five private boats have been patrolling the coast, he said, adding that an ambulance was also stationed at O’Chheuteal.

Mr. Panha, the deputy chief, said that tourist police had also been visiting the beaches to warn visitors about the dangers of entering the waters after drinking alcohol.

“The provincial police chief [on Saturday] night called relevant police officials for an urgent meeting to prepare forces to rescue people because four people have drowned in the last few days,” he said.

“We have educated local and foreign people today to not play in the sea water when they are drunk because they put themselves in danger from the waves,” he added.

According to the most recent figures from the World Health Organization, an estimated 1,357 people drowned in Cambodia in 2012—more than half of whom were under the age of 15.

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