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American teacher drowns off Karon

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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KARON: An American teacher drowned in heavy seas off Karon Beach on June 25, after she and three friends apparently ignored red flags and warnings by beachguards not to swim.

Chalong Police Inspector Pol Lt Col Jessada Saengsuree named the victim as Elena Baldwin, 20. He told the Gazette that she had been teaching English language as a volunteer at a school in Tambon Bangtoey, Phang Nga, and was visiting Phuket with a group of about 10 friends.

In the late afternoon, she and three others entered the surf in front of the Golden Sand Inn, near Karon Circle. One large wave reportedly swept all four swimmers out to sea.

After receiving a report that the four were missing, Col Jessada arrived at the scene to find a search-and-rescue operation already underway, involving two jet-skis and two Royal Thai Navy speedboats. Three of the missing swimmers, two men and one woman, were plucked from the sea alive and rushed to Patong Hospital.

Miss Baldwin was not so lucky. Her body was found floating some three kilometers from where she had entered the surf. She was declared dead and her body was sent to Patong Hospital for further examination.

It was the first drowning death this monsoon season off Karon Beach, where the sea has claimed the lives of at least eight tourists since 2000.

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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