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Chinese tourist, 23, drowns at Phuket beach

PHUKET: A 23-year-old Chinese tourist drowned at Karon Beach this afternoon after going into the sea despite red flags being placed along the beach.

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Thursday 28 June 2018, 06:03PM

Lifeguards perform CPR on the victim at Karon Beach. Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub

Lifeguards perform CPR on the victim at Karon Beach. Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub

At 2pm today (June 28), a group of Chinese tourists were playing in the sea in front of the Karon stadium.

There were already rip currents in the area so lifeguards had placed red warning flags along the beach.

Two lifeguards stationed at the beach warned the tourists against swimming in the area three or four times but the tourists ignored the warnings.

At the same time, another group of tourists also entered the water and one of the group got caught in the rip currents and the rest of the group were calling for help.

Due to the low number of lifeguards stationed at the beach they were unable to deal with the two groups at the same time.

However, a tourist who was surfing at the beach managed to reach the tourist caught in the rip and brought him back to shore where CPR was performed.


Despite attempts to save the man, named as Wang Shan, 23, from Yunnan Province, China, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The body was taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket Town.

Speaking to The Phuket News following the drowning, Daren Jenner, the International Marine Safety Officer, Thailand Section Chief, for the International Surf Lifesaving Association (ISLA), said, “The drowning at Karon Beach today was right on cue with the arrival of Phuket's rip currents. The full moon creates large tidal swings. On the outgoing tide, the speed and power of these rip currents increase.

“Look for the danger to continue for at least the next few days, especially at Kata, Karon, Surin, Bang Tao, Layan, and Mai Khao. Swimmers should use extreme caution at all Phuket beaches,” he said.

“Two lifeguards on Karon Beach is not nearly enough. Some 25 to 30 ocean ceritified lifeguards, plus proper rescue equipment and lifeguard towers, are needed to meet international standards on Karon, to prevent drowning,” he added.



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Wiesel | 30 June 2018 - 13:39:30

@ Pauly44: Safe place for swimming in Monsun-Season is the swimmingpool in the Hotel or ressort. Beach is Nature and Sea is out of control. And nobody can prevent selfmade problems. Would you try to cross the street at stoplight?? If yes, dont blame others for some result ;-)

vegasbaby | 29 June 2018 - 19:18:11

How about providing floatation jackets for all Chinese and Russian tourists who wish to enter the water above their knees?  It would be a nice change to see a life saved rather a life wasted.

BenPendejo | 29 June 2018 - 15:49:03

Actually, I find it surprising that there has only been one drowning lately. Conditions at Surin, Karon and other places have been quite dangerous, but there has also been a lot of bad weather to keep beach goers away.  Last week, I saw the lifeguards at Surin sitting under the trees smoking and not even looking at the ocean.  Lifeguards there are a complete joke. More death coming soon.

Kurt | 29 June 2018 - 12:17:25

A very sad happening with lost of life again.
Wait for the excuses of the highest Phuket Officials, that Phuket beaches with previously enough and this year almost none lifeguards not show a significant difference in beach fatalities/drownings.
Face saved, lies to foreign diplomats 'covered'. 
Here is Phuket!

Pauly44 | 29 June 2018 - 11:37:06

Just blanketing beaches with red flags is not good enough, they need to designate a safe zone for swimming and patrol the area properly, the whole Thai beach management is a fiasco but I guess to be expected.

Wiesel | 28 June 2018 - 19:45:11

As more liveguards as more the people will ignore the warnings!!! After set red flags there should be one or two Police-Officer to collect the fine from ignorant suiciders. As long people ignore warnings as long you can not prevent drowning. 

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