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Body of missing Aussie tourist found

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PHUKET: A Phuket lifeguard this morning found the body of missing Australian tourist Jennifer Laidley.

Uten Singsom, head of the Phuket Lifeguard Club contingent assigned to patrol Karon beach, said the discovery was made by fellow lifeguard Phachoke Jamjareonjan at about 8:15am today.

The body, recovered about one kilometer offshore from Nong Harn Lagoon at the north end of the beach, was immediately transported to Vachira Phuket Hospital.

Ms Laidley’s companion Lisa Cosland confirmed the identity this morning before her flight home to Australia this afternoon.

Ms Cosland said she wanted to thank the Karon Municipality Tourist Rescue service and all the other organizations who took part in the search for her friend.

The death reconfirms Karon’s reputation as the most deadly beach in Phuket because of its strong rip currents and long length, making it difficult to thoroughly patrol.

Lifeguards have repeatedly reported the biggest problem in safeguarding tourists’ lives has being overconfident swimmers, mostly foreigners, ignoring the red “No Swimming” signs and entering the surf.

Many tourists believe it is safe to swim as long as they do not go in over their heads, but quickly panic and drown when knocked over by large waves or undertow and find themselves swept seaward by the strong current.

Many who have died in this way were experienced swimmers, including one 25-year-old lifeguard from Bahrain who drowned at Karon Beach in August last year.

— Atchaa Khamlo

 

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