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Brit tourist on Phuket honeymoon among surf drownings

Brit tourist on Phuket honeymoon among surf drownings

PHUKET: A British man from London on his honeymoon in Phuket was one of two tourists who drowned in dangerous surf at Kata Noi Beach as lifeguards carried out rescues at main beaches on Phuket’s west coast yesterday (July 14).

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Friday 15 July 2022, 10:18AM

British national Ali Mohammed Mian, 33, was pronounced dead at Chalong Hospital after lifeguards had pulled him from the water late yesterday afternoon. 

Mr Mian was one of two drownings at Kata Noi that Lt Col Kittipong Noopeng, Deputy Chief of the Karon Police, was notified of at about 5pm.

Lifeguards at Kata Noi Beach reported that the first person they had pulled from the water was Thai tourist Surasit Phonglaohaphan, 55, from Chiang Mai.

Mr Surasit had checked in at a local hotel at Kata Noi only yesterday (July 14), indicating that yesterday was likely his first day of holiday in Phuket, Tourist Police reported.

Mr Sursait was pulled from the water unconscious and unresponsive. Lifeguards were unable to detect a pulse and administered CPR on the beach until an EMS unit arrived to speed him to Chalong Hospital, where he was formally pronounced dead.

British tourist Mr Mian had checked into a local hotel at Kata Noi on Tuesday (July 12). He was on his honeymoon, police reported.

He, too, was pulled from the water unconscious and unresponsive. Despite efforts by lifeguards, Mr Mian was also pronounced dead on arrival at Chalong Hospital.

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Staff at the main Tourist Assistance Center (TAC) in Phuket confirmed they had already notified the British Embassy in Bangkok of Mr Mian’s death.

Both men had ignored red flags posted on the beach and entered the water where strong waves and rip currents made swimming too dangerous to swim, and both were swept away from the shore, lifeguards reported.

Meanwhile, two more tourists were rescued at nearby Kata Beach at about 6:10pm, lifeguards there reported.

The two, a man and a woman, both aged about 30-40 years old, both survived their rescues and were taken to Chalong Hospital for treatment.

Lifeguards at Patong Beach reported rescuing three tourists after they were swept away from the beach by strong rip currents. All three were safe, lifeguards confirmed.

Lifeguards are maintainingg their call for all beach-goers to not enter the water where red ‘no swimming’ flags are posted on the beach, as red flags mark where it is not safe to enter the water due to strong waves and strong rip currents.

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christysweet | 19 July 2022 - 11:50:51

Just because the weather is nice one day does not mean there are not rip tides as the general weather force is coming in  from the west especially if the tide is rising. 

Kurt | 19 July 2022 - 00:59:30

Attention to foreign tourists who visit Phuket beaches:  Look were the life guards are standing/walking/sitting, and what they are doing during the times they not pay attention to what happens in de water. Soetimes their view is blocked by branches when they sit in their tents. Don't relay on Phuket life guards and their flags positioning.

Capricornball | 18 July 2022 - 21:05:23

In many cases, it is a surfer or civilian coming to the rescue, with LGs showing up too late to the incident. Had others not helped, it would have been another tragic fatality that the LGs would blame on the tourist ignoring the flags, and officials would say anything to shirk their responsibility and pass blame onto the victim. Someone tried hard to help this mess, but it fell on deaf ears.

Capricornball | 18 July 2022 - 20:58:11

Previous LG heads were just pilfering the system, taking LGs from one beach to run jet-ski biz at a different beach while pocketing the LG wages. @ Poolie, you mustn't spend any time at the beach, otherwise you would see that most LGs hunker down in their tents, some rent surfboards and chairs, nearly all BS with their buddies and smoke and some even get high.

Capricornball | 18 July 2022 - 20:53:35

Today was a calm, sunny morning with small wav, and the red flags were in the same place as they were last week...no change. They are simply part of the landscape, and on their own, they mean nothing. I think many LGs would like to improve, but there is no support from officials. All are under paid, and most are poorly trained, and would admit they cannot really save anyone in serious trouble.

solar_serfer | 18 July 2022 - 11:09:28

please change red and yellow flags for red and green or red and blue.. this is just ridiculous 

Pooliekev | 16 July 2022 - 20:41:28

The life guards, not being able to be everywhere at once, relied on the red flags, used worldwide, to speak for them. Saying the LGs were 'having a fag' or 'on their dumbphones' is slanderous and needless. Shame on you. 

JohnC | 16 July 2022 - 09:53:58

Sounds suspiciously like lifeguards covering their arses for being to slow to respond to people in trouble. The Brit guy was trying to save the older Thai man. I'll bet they were staring at their f...ing dumbphones again. If you want tourists and expats to have any confidence in your lifeguards make them take their job seriously and turn their phones off during working hours. It's NOT diff...

Kurt | 16 July 2022 - 00:18:01

@ HollyMM. Shocking what you wrote. This tragedy as you described needs a deep going investigation, specially about  what you wrote regarding the flag settings and the role of mr Mian and life guards. But I guess it will be covered up completely by Thai Officialdom.

Capricornball | 15 July 2022 - 20:49:42

I know only one or two lifeguards that take preventive measures by telling people to get out or move in...and they stay on top of it...not move flags then go back to the tent for a smoke or a nap or BS with their friends. This drowning, like Holly mentioned, happened because the lifeguards didn't do their job, but typical of this place, the first thing they do is blame the victim.

Capricornball | 15 July 2022 - 18:59:59

Christy is wrong, Phuket beaches are very dangerous, and things can go bad fast. The problem is untrained and unprofessional lifeguards. Almost every beach is lined with red flags every day, so every time someone drowns they can say "they ignored the flags". The fact is, that most lifeguards are sitting under their tents playing with phones, eating, talking with friends, even getting hig...

maverick | 15 July 2022 - 15:43:01

A red flag is international do NOT enter the water it’s dangerous - sea can look inviting but rip currents and undertow are deadly are these people on their own surely they would listen to their partners/friends - totally unnecessary- short of deploying the police not sure what more Thai’s can do no cure for stupid.

christysweet | 15 July 2022 - 15:42:32

Each  beach should have several signs  indicating how many people drowned the prior year  and on what dates. Hotels could put that same info on a brochure and place them in the rooms. The problem is the waves just aren't that menacing, and people are ignorant of rip currents  and how to survive them 

Kurt | 15 July 2022 - 12:15:54

The whole Phuket beach happening needs a change/upgrade for sake of tourist safety ( and image of Phuket), as many tourists never see sea before. As 1 commentator suggested, finish this stupid yellow-red flags. Typical thai confusing nonsense they are so good in. Have red flags and green flags. Period. Have large flag masts at beaches, besides the small ones. ( not between the trees, please)

HollyMM | 15 July 2022 - 12:14:30

This is wrong. Mr Mian lost his life trying to save the other tourist as lifeguards were too slow. They were both swimming between red and yellow flags when they were swept out and across the breach. I witnessed the whole event. 

Kurt | 15 July 2022 - 11:36:08

It's time Phuket gets a 'Beach Master', a authority who can forbid swimming during beach/sea conditions during which these drownings take place. The 'Beach Master' by law/ruling should be able to delegate his authority to beach lifeguards. It seems needed to protect tourists against themselve by plainly forbid them entering water. It will save lives.

Fascinated | 15 July 2022 - 11:21:25

What do people expect will happen when they ignore the red flags- its not rocket science. Same in Kamala (sans lifeguards though) people in heavy surf ignoring flags flying . 'But I'm on holiday' just doesn't cut it.


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