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Body of missing Belgian found on Phuket beach

PHOTO: Khaosod

The body of a Belgian visitor who went missing while swimming at a Phuket beach has been found. His drowning brings to a total of at least 6 foreigners dying off Phuket’s beaches in the past 2 weeks (in addition to a Thai woman).

The tourist, who has been named as 28 year old Belgian Luvovadio Deraut, was dragged out to sea after getting into difficulty while swimming at Freedom Beach, near Patong. The tragedy happened at around 3.50pm on Saturday, June 22, when the Belgian entered the water with his girlfriend.

According to a Bangkok Post report, Mr Deraut and two Yemeni tourists then got caught in “strong currents” and were pulled out to sea. A search was launched for the three tourists, involving lifeguards on jet skis and divers from the Phuket Kusoldharm Foundation.

Rescuers managed to save the two Yemeni tourists but were unable to locate Mr Deraut at the time.

Seas along the west coast have been very rough over the weekend and some of the beaches can develop very strong rips (currents that drag swimmers away from the beach).

His body was found at around 4.30am two days later, after it washed ashore at the beach. It has been taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital for a post-mortem. It’s understood Mr Deraut’s family has been informed and relatives are travelling to Phuket to collect his body.

The Belgian is the fourth tourist to drown in the space of a week in Phuket. Lifeguards have placed red flags at the island’s beaches, to warn beachgoers of the current dangerous conditions. However, many tourists continue to ignore them.

More heavy rain and big waves have been forecast for the island and the Andaman region until Wednesday, according to the Thai Meteorological Department. Small boats have been advised to stay ashore.

SOURCE: Khaosod English | Bangkok Post

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