NAKHON SI THAMMARAT: Coastal fishermen in Tha Sala bay scrambled to haul their boats onshore on Wednesday, as far as possible from the open sea, as a tropical storm moved from Vietnam into the Gulf of Thailand.
They formed lines, working together to drag their small boats to higher ground back from the beach or into sheltered canals in the hope of minimising the damage tropical storm Pabuk poses to their livelihood.
Out in the bay, the sea was getting rougher and already-strong winds gathered more pace.
Charoen Toetae, chairman of the local coastal fishermen's association, said they were worried about what might happen in coming days.
"I am closely monitoring the storm. The wind is blowing to the west and it is very strong," the fishermen's leader said. "The wind could be a warning that stronger winds are coming to the coast."
Southern provinces have been put on alert, with warnings of possible downpours and gusty winds from Plabuk as the storm approaches the Gulf from the southern tip of Vietnam. (continues below)
The Meteorological Department issued a fresh alert on Wednesday, warning of turbulent weather and seas from Thursday to Saturday.
Nakhon Si Thammarat is one of the 10 southern provinces likely to be hit first, along with Surat Thani, Phatthalung, Songkhla, Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, Krabi, Trang and Satun.
The rest of the region will follow from Friday.
Provinces along the Gulf are more at risk than areas along the Andaman coast, with waves as high as five metres now forecast and a small ships warning in force.
This was up from the previous forecast of four-metre waves in the Gulf.
"People should be aware of the severe conditions approaching. All coastal shipping should be kept ashore until Saturday," the weather office said.