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.
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.