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Man drowns in dangerous Phuket surf, no lifeguards as ordered

PHUKET: A 36-year-old Thai man has died from drowning despite being pulled from the surf by bystanders at Layan Beach yesterday afternoon (May 1).

tourism, marine, death, weather,

The Phuket News

Wednesday 2 May 2018, 05:41PM

Sanya Makwut is carried off the beach after attempts to revive him failed. Photo: Supplied
Sanya Makwut is carried off the beach after attempts to revive him failed. Photo: Supplied

There were no lifeguards on patrol at the beach, while the death marks the first beach drowning of the year during the notorious southwest monsoon, when dangerous surf and flash rips dominate along Phuket’s west coast.

The Phuket News learned of the incident today (May 2) only after bystanders of the beach contacted the newspaper directly.

L/Cpl Puwavit Thonchart of the Thalang Police this afternoon confirmed that the police report log noted that the Thalang Police were notified of the incident at 3:25pm.

“A Thai man, 36-year-old Sanya Makwut, was pulled unconsciousness from the water,” L/Cpl Puwavit said.

“He was taken to Thalang Hospital, and was pronounced dead there,” L/Cpl Puwavit said, adding that doctors recorded the cause of death as drowning.

“I don’t know who rescued him from the water. Maj Nattaya Suphanpong was the officer who responded to this case. She has other details about this incident.” L/Cpl Puwavit explained.

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However, Maj Nattaya did not answer calls from The Phuket News this afternoon.

Photos provided to The Phuket News show bystanders on the beach administering CPR to Mr Sanya, while visitors to the beach looked on.

Of note, Layan Beach is not covered by lifeguards provided by government contractor Laikhum Co Ltd, which is currently contracted to provide lifeguards only at Surin, Bang Tao, Nai Thon and Mai Khao beaches...

All other beaches along the west coast are to have lifeguards provided by the local municipality for each area. (See story here.)

However, as recently as March 14, volunteer lifeguards were removed from Kamala Beach for the reason that they were not lifeguards employed by Laikhum Co Ltd – even though Laikhum Co Ltd is to specifically not provide lifeguard services there. (See story here.)

The move the effectively leaves all other beaches officially unpatrolled as Phuket enters its most dangerous time of the year for beach drownings.



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Kurt | 04 May 2018 - 10:19:14

Huh? To call para-sailboat drivers with tourist in harnass up in the air + Myanmar jet ski boys (some illegal) 'excellent' Life guards goes a bit to far.
A good and excellent Life Guard is a trained Guard. Professional in giving First Aid, CPR and preventing beach visitors to get in dangerous life threatening situations ( Rip tide currents).
Prevention is a big part of the job.

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vegasbaby | 03 May 2018 - 22:01:29

Thank goodness that the jet ski and para-sail operators have not been removed from the beaches.  They are excellent lifeguards and can save lives.

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Christy Sweet | 03 May 2018 - 21:14:29

Educate. Rip Tide Avoidance and Actions. Educate. Rip Tide Avoidance and Actions. Educate.....

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yopp | 03 May 2018 - 10:27:24

Three people were pulled away by a current in a calm sea. Children at the beach started calling for help. About thirty seconds later five people entered the water. One with a life vest and two floaters, another one with an air mattress. The three others retrieved the victim. Took them almost two minutes to reach him. Ambulance arrived after twenty minutes.

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Kurt | 03 May 2018 - 09:45:52

The Phuket authority/Official who 'ordered' life guard at beaches more than 1 month ago (!), obviously is responsible for the death of tourists at Phuket beaches.
A Government Official who only 'orders' and than not check or his orders are carried out is not suitable for the job. He is good for nothing. 
Phuket not need publicity bla-blayers but functioning Officials.

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Wiesel | 03 May 2018 - 09:32:15

If you dont know how or when to swimm in the sea please stay away and feel safe in some swimmingpool. take care yourself is the best and most safe way. 

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moskito | 03 May 2018 - 00:01:38

what a terrible journalistic mess this article is... so WHERE did he die? At Layam Beach...wich is too long anyways for lifeguards or on Kamala beach... 

citation: However, as recently as March 14, volunteer lifeguards were removed from Kamala Beach

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BenPendejo | 02 May 2018 - 22:52:26

So...“I don’t know who rescued him from the water..." said police Maj Nattaya Suphanpong.  The answer is !!! NOBODY !!! Just wait, there is going to be more to come.  I saw the so-called lifeguards at Surin...sitting behind a wind block with their backs to the ocean, one sleeping, the other 2 smoking and talking to people on the road.  Utter JOKE!

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crispy | 02 May 2018 - 18:36:44

this is ridiculous they dont supply life gaurds at kamala but the volunteers were removed ?it doesn\'t make any sense surely a volunteer guard is better than no guard .   

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allirob | 02 May 2018 - 17:59:08

This is a crazy situation - no lifeguards !!!!   Dont be a tourist in Thailand! 

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