Body of Phuket drowning victim Joshua Shane recovered, identified

PHUKET: The body of Phuket drowning victim Joshua Shane was recovered from the pounding surf at Patong Beach this afternoon and has been positively identified.

The body was discovered at 2:40pm in the water off Loma Park, not far from where the 21-year-old American student went missing in heavy surf on Tuesday night.

Rescue workers from the Phuket Kusoldharm Foundation arrived at 3pm to transport the body to Patong Hospital.

The body was identified by Juthathip Maneepong, a Thai teacher working with the Arizona State University research team. The late Mr Shane arrived in Phuket with that team.

A hotel staff member further confirmed that the swim trunks on the body matched those Mr Shane was wearing when he and his friends left the Phuket Graceland Resort & Spa, where he and his friends were staying, on Tuesday night.

Sources told the Gazette that the students received no warning of the dangers of swimming at island beaches during their stay. Some, including the late Mr Shane, were hesitant to enter the surf.

They felt emboldened when they noticed a sign indicating a “swimming area”. In the visual cacophony of the Patong beachfront, none noticed red flags flying in darkness to indicate the dangerous conditions, the source said.

A classmate of the late Mr Shane also confirmed the body as that of Mr Shane to the Phuket Gazette, but declined to let her name be published. She declined to comment further without first signing a waiver form with her university.

UPDATE: Since this story was posted online, the Phuket Gazette on June 15 received an email from Arizona State University spokeswoman Julie Newberg, saying: “In response to reports concerning the tragic drowning death of Arizona State University student Joshua Shane, media reports citing sources that stated that university students were not warned of dangerous swimming conditions off the beach of Patong, Thailand are incorrect.

“Students participating in the study abroad program in Thailand did receive repeated warnings from their program leaders and local authorities not to swim in the water at Patong Beach, which poses significant dangers because of strong rip tides.”

Phuket News
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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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