More Phuket drowning tragedies

One tourist drowned and another is still missing today after swimming in rough seas in Phuket.

Chao Dakun, a Chinese national, was rescued at Kata Beach and transported to Patong Hospital, where he later passed away.

Phuketwan reported that Ali Alsaeed, a 25-year-old from Bahrain, was still missing today after vanishing at 15.00 in the waters at nearby Karon Beach.

Phuket’s lifeguard squad employed searchlights to look for Mr Alsaeed last night. This morning at 06.00 the lifeguards continued the search.

Mr Alsaeed’s friend, and fellow Bahraini, was rescued by the lifeguards and given resuscitation. He was upset when he realised his friend was still in the water.

Yesterday’s heartbreak follows Saturday’s rescue at Nai Harn Beach, on the south side of Phuket. Six schoolchildren were plucked from the sea there. Two of them needed hospital treatment.

In the last two months, two other tourists have died in drowning accidents in Phuket. On July 20, Romanian national Gheorghe Paulivc was rescued at Karon, but died two days later.   

This followed the death of British woman Rebecca Callaghan in mid-June. She went swimming at Karon Beach.

Lifeguards say that due to adverse conditions in the seas, both Mr Dakun and Miss Callaghan had been advised not to swim.

The Lifeguard Club of Phuket is campaigning for tourists to be given warnings about the hidden dangers of Phuket’s waters in the rainy season.

After this spate of drowning disasters, authorities are concerned that Phuket could be placed on national travel alerts and lose its reputation as a safe holiday location.

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