Twelve beach side lifeguard towers were inaugurated at Sihanoukville’s Ochheuteal Beach 2 on March 14 to make it easier to supervise tourists visiting the beach or bathing in the sea, bringing the total to 16.

Speaking at the ceremonial handover of the towers, provincial governor Kuoch Chamroeun reminded the lifeguards to employ the towers efficiently and to ensure that they maintained all of the equipment they might need to carry out a rescue.

“We are also preparing to put ad a barrier of life buoys – which will keep swimmers safe from boats and personal watercraft. It will also act as a safe flotation device should strong winds or heavy seas tire a swimmer out,” he said, noting that the towers were a gift from Cambodian businessman Oknha Try Pheap.

Provincial administration spokesman Kheang Phearom said earlier that the towers are permanent lifeguard positions which will enable them to keep an eye on swimmers. Should the worst happen, they will have advance notice, and will be able to save bathers who get into trouble in a timely manner.

He also called on residents and tourists to exercise increased caution when bathing at sea.

Chamroeun also instructed the provincial departments of Tourism and Environment to clean up coastal areas and appealed to tourists to join them in maintaining environmental sanitation along the beaches.

“Waste transport companies must also increase rubbish collection on Saturdays, Sundays and around public holidays to ensure it does not pile up in the town. This will be especially important ahead of the upcoming Khmer New Year.

“We have to keep our beaches pristine and welcoming for domestic and international tourists,” Chamroeun said.

The governor also thanked the government for its approval of the budget to develop the province.

“Prime Minister Hun Sen allocated a generous budget to help improve roads, beaches and infrastructure in Preah Sihanouk province. This has allowed us to open our beaches up for domestic and international visitors to enjoy. Previously, this beach was closed to the public, but thanks to the efforts of the provincial and national administrations, the public can now enjoy 16km of pristine shoreline,” he said.