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.