PHUKET, Thailand – A tourist from India drowned yesterday in heavy surf at Phuket’s Kata beach. It was the third drowning on the island’s holiday beaches in the space of three days.
The man, named as Ramesh Chand Singhal, 49, took a bodyboard into the surf for a swim about 5pm at Kata, according to a spokesperson for the Phuket Lifeguard Service.
Lifeguards later carried him from the water towards the northern end of the beach and attempted resuscitation but he died on the way to Patong Hospital.
His body is now in Vachira Phuket Hospital, Phuket City. The drowned man had been staying at the Holiday Inn Resort Phuket Mai Khao Beach.
Yesterday’s drowning of the Indian man followed the drowning of a Belgian man at Laem Sing beach and a Russian man at Patong beach within an hour on Thursday.
On Tuesday, a Chinese tourist drowned on a day-trip from Phuket to Racha island. On Wednesday, a Chinese man was killed when struck by the propeller of a speedboat in Pileh Bay, near Phi Phi.
During the same monsoon onset last year, eight tourists drowned on Phuket’s popular west coast beaches between mid-May and mid-July.
The Lifeguard Service, Phuketwan and more recently the Chinese Ambassador have made the point that repeated warnings are required to prevent needless deaths.
Despite last year’s drowning tragedies, authorities on Phuket and many resort managements appear to have not reacted.
Other tourists have been rescued from the surf, including a Chinese couple who were saved at Karon beach on Friday and two Singaporeans plucked from the water at Surin beach yesterday.
The high number of needless drownings is likely to be a key issue when ambassadors from Europe, Australia and possibly China meet with the Minister for Tourism and Sport in Bangkok on Friday about Phuket safety and security.
The Chinese Ambassador, Guan Mu, met with Phuket officials on May 29 and made a straightforward plea for a more concerted effort to prevent the drownings.
A young Chinese tourist drowned on a day-trip to Pai island, off Phuket, the day before the ambassador visited Phuket.
A British man was found drowned on Patong beach on May 21, before lifeguards went on duty.
Until April least year, health officials on Phuket released regular monthly updates on the drownings and the road toll, two aspects of Phuket’s lifestyle that claim an excessive number of tourist and expat lives.
No updates have been provided for the past 14 months. No total has been made public for drownings and road toll fatalities and injuries for Phuket for 2012.
In other countries, the provision of updated statistics is considered to be an essential factor in community efforts to reduce drownings and road fatalities.
Phuket’s Shocking Monsoon Marine Death Toll 2013
June 22 Indian tourist Ramesh Chand Singhal, 49, goes into the surf at Kata with a bodyboard and drowns.
June 20 Two drownings within one hour as Belgian Laurent Jacques Leopold Wanter, 42, drowns at Laem Singh beach and Aleksande Poleshchenko, 29, drowns soon after at Patong beach.
June 19 Chinese tourist Chen Peng, 36, dies afterv being struck by a speedboat propeller in the water at scenic Pileh Bay, near Phi Phi.
June 18 Chinese tourist Ran Li, 23, drowns on a day-trip outing to Racha island.
June 14 Eighteen European envoys meet on Phuket and request more effort to improve marine and beach safety.
May 29 Chinese Ambassador Guan Mu makes a strong public plea on Phuket for more warnings – at the airport, at resorts and at beaches – to save more lives.
May 28 A Young Chinese tourist drowns on a day-trip from Phuket to Pai island.
May 21 British tourist Jeremy Thomas O’Neill, 37, is found dead on Patong beach about 6am. It is believed he may have misjudged the strength of the waves in darkness.
A 19-year-old from Koh Kaew who went on a seaside picnic with his family today is missing, presumed drowned at Phuket’s Layan beach. If confirmed, his drowning would be Phuket’s fourth at beaches in four days.