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American man and Thai woman drown at northern Phuket beach

PHOTO: Daily News

An American man and a Thai woman are the latest to succumb to Phuket’s west coast beach surf this year, drowning after going swimming, bringing to 3 the number of people being dragged out by dangerous currents in recent days.

Just last Sunday, June 16, lifeguards pulled a 64 year old unconscious Russian national from the water at Surin Beach after he ignored red warning flags to go swimming. Despite the lifeguards’ repeated attempts at CPR, Apostolov Aleksei was pronounced dead at Thalang Hospital.

The following day, 45 year old James Newman, an American national, and a 49 year old Thai woman named only as Waranya, and understood to be a nurse from Surin, drowned at Mai Khao Beach, just north of Phuket Airport.

Ranaphoum Permpoon from Tha Chat Chai Police told the Bangkok Post that local residents had alerted officers to two bodies that had washed ashore on the beach. It’s understood the two people had checked into a hotel in Mai Khao only the day before.

Officers believe one of them may have got into difficulty while swimming and the other person went to help. Their bodies have been taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital, where an autopsy will be carried out to confirm the cause of death.

Mr Newman’s death makes him the second American to drown at a Phuket beach in less than ten days.

Fellow citizen James du Bois was swept out to sea while swimming at Nai Harn Beach with his family on Sunday, June 9. His Thai wife managed to get out of the water and the couple’s 3 year old son was rescued by lifeguards. Mr Du Bois’s body was subsequently washed up on the beach two days later.

Lifeguards continue to warn people to exercise caution when deciding whether to enter the water, with red “no swimming” flags placed at beaches where conditions are known to be dangerous.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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