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Boy, 7, dies after rescue as real Phuket drownings toll revealed

Boy, 7, dies after rescue as real Phuket drownings toll revealed

PHUKET: The 7-year-old boy rescued and revived at Nai Harn Lake earlier this month has become the sixth person to die from a drowning incident at Phuket beaches this year, the chief of the island’s lifeguard service has confirmed.

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By Shela Riva

Thursday 31 August 2017, 02:53PM


The boy, Kietmondej Traiyuang, was unable to recover from extensive brain damage and died about one week after the incident, Phuket Lifeguard Service President Prathaiyut Chuayuan told The Phuket News today (Aug 31).

Kietmondej was in the care of Vachira Phuket Hospital after he was pulled from the water in Nai Harn lake, albeit unconscious and unresponsive after lifeguards performed CPR. (See story here.)

The youngster was recorded as the fifth death from a drowning incident this year that has occurred outside of lifeguard patrol areas or work hours, Mr Prathaiyut confirmed.

“This is because Nai Harn lake area is not under the patrol responsibility of Phuket lifeguards. The incident has been recorded as under the responsibility of Rawai Municipality,” explained Mr Prathaiyut.

“There has been only one death within lifeguard patrol areas and work hours recorded for this year, as of yesterday (Aug 30),” he added.

Outrigger Laguna Phuket

The lone death during the lifeguards’ watch so far this year was that of 37-year-old British tourist Scott Robert Townsend, from the Isle of Man, whose body was recovered at Patong Beach on April 21 after he was seen entering the surf reportedly “in a drunken state”. (See stories here and here.)

Mr Prathaiyut pointed out that there have been already 294 safe rescues recorded this year, comprising 265 foreigners and 29 Thais. This total is less than half of the 761 rescues recorded in 2016, Mr Prathaiyut noted.

In 2016, seven people died of drowning within lifeguard patrol areas or work hours.

Mr Prathaiyut explained that the 120 drowning incidents annouced by Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong last week (see story here), may have been outdated.

“The statistics of the Phuket lifeguards are up to date to today (Aug 30) and are continuously updated,” he said.

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