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Phuket lifeguards assist overturned catamaran as heavy weather hits Surin Beach

PHUKET: Strong winds and rain struck Phuket’s Surin Beach yesterday afternoon (Mar 20), causing a rented Hobie cat to overturn and toss two tourists into the rough water.

By The Phuket News

Tuesday 21 March 2017, 12:12PM

Surin-Bangtao lifeguards prepare themselves for the mission ahead. Photo: Surin-Bangtao Surf Life Saving Club

Surin-Bangtao lifeguards prepare themselves for the mission ahead. Photo: Surin-Bangtao Surf Life Saving Club

Surin Beach lifeguards observed the catamaran in distress after strong northwest winds pushed it past Surin’s north point rocks around 2pm.

The catamaran was moving pretty fast in a southeasterly direction. Winds were about 30km/h at that time, and the water was rough and choppy,” one of the responding lifeguards reported.

We observed the Hobie start to rock back and forth violently when they tried to tack north to return to Pansea Beach. They then lost control of the vessel. They came about halfway, and the wind blew the cat upside-down. Two tourists were thrown in the water, but they were wearing life vests and luckily were able to swim back and hold on to the hull of the craft.”

Surin lifeguards have no jet skis, so they responded by swimming out about 1 kilometre in the rough, bumpy seas to reach the overturned vessel.

QSI International School Phuket

Watersports staff also responded in a rubber dinghy, and were able to pluck the two tourists from the water and return them to Pansea Beach safely.

The dinghy then returned to the overturned vessel where lifeguards were assisting hotel staff in uprighting the vessel.

Several attempts to get the catamaran upright failed, and the Hobie was being blown towards the rocks.

Finally, with the assistance of the Surin-Bangtao lifeguards, everyone worked together to get the vessel upright, and the Hobie and all of it’s occupants returned back to Pansea Beach safely.



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