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British woman, 21, is latest Phuket drowning death

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: The drowning death of a 21-year-old British woman at Karon Beach over the weekend has left Phuket lifeguards frustrated over the failure of foreign tourists to heed their warnings not to enter the surf when red warning flags are flying.

Rebecca Callaghan, from Evesham in Worcestershire, was in Phuket with her boyfriend as part of a holiday that took in Australia and Indonesia as well as Thailand. She was due to start a university degree in September.

Lifeguard station chief U-tane Singsom said Miss Callaghan arrived at the beach around 5pm and entered the surf despite visible red flags and a verbal warning.

Her boyfriend rented a body board and waded out, followed by Miss Callaghan who entered without an aid.

Despite staying in shallow waters, she was pummeled by large waves and went under.

Lifeguards pulled her out and aided by a vacationing nurse, Savanna Sorensen, performed CPR before she was taken to Patong Hospital.

Miss Callaghan died there later that evening.

In an interview with the Evesham Journal, her family this week paid tribute to their “special daughter”.

Her mother Rosie told the Journal that Miss Callaghan “would always be remembered for her bubbly and caring nature”.

Her brother said: “We would like to say to those who knew her to remember Becky how she was – to think of her when they were with her and hopefully that was a time when they were happy and laughing.”

Her funeral was expected to take place in Bengeworth in England.

Around the same time as the tragedy that claimed Miss Callaghan’s life, two Thai teenagers had to be rescued by lifeguards at Nai Harn Beach.

Chaiphoom Boonrasri, 16, Kanithanee Hong-asurachet, 15, were playing in shallow water when the current dragged them out to sea.

They were saved by beach guards. Mr Chaiphoom was taken to Vachira Hospital while

Miss Kanithanee was taken to Bangkok Hospital.

A fourth incident took place at Kata Beach the same day when a Korean tourist, Liu Gang, entered the surf around 5:20pm despite red flags and being warned by lifeguards.

After being hit several times by large waves, an exhausted Mr Liu had to be rescued and taken to Bangkok Hospital for treatment.

Mr U-tane, who is responsible for Karon Beach, Kata Beach and Kata Noi Beach, said that during the rainy season the beaches were perfect for surfing – but not swimming.

To play in the water with a surfboard is not that dangerous because the surfboard is a floating device helping you stay on the water’s surface. But to play without any board is very dangerous,” he said.

All four accidents on the same day had one thing in common: tourists ignored water safety signs, flags and lifeguards’ warnings, he said.

Mr U-tane said he was frustrated when a drowning took place as it was not only the victim who was at risk, but also the lifeguards trying to save them.

It is very difficult to help people in the water with big waves. When lifeguards warn tourists not to swim and red flags are flying, the tourists get angry and use bad words. But when a drowning really happens and someone dies, lifeguards are blamed for not doing their duty,” he said.

— Pimwara Choksakulpan

 

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

Phuket

Fishermen find space debris off the coast of Phuket

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Facebook/ Phuket Andaman News

Local fishermen found space debris, possibly from a satellite or space shuttle, on the seabed just 6 metres below the surface by Koh Ael in Phuket. At first, no one knew exactly what it was.

Specialists from a Navy explosive ordnance disposal unit were first called to look at the round, hollow metal object which was about 45 centimetres in diameter. 3rd Naval Area commander Vice Admiral Choengchai Chomchoengpaet told reporters at a press conference that the team took photos of the object and found it appeared to be a rocket fuel tank, possibly used to launch a satellite or shuttle into space. He said it matched photos online.

Both the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency, or GISTDA, and the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand, agree that the object was most likely a fuel tank for a rocket.

Since the fuel tanks usually contain harmful chemicals like ammonia or hydrogen, divers examined the space debris to make sure there were no chemical leaks before bringing the object to shore and taken to the navy headquarters. The space debris will be taken to the GISTDA to be studied.

“If other objects similar to this one are found elsewhere, people should not touch them. They could contain hazardous chemicals. They should immediately inform Region 3 Thai-MECC or local officials.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Phuket

Phuket police search for foreigners who were seen drinking beer at a restaurant

Tanutam Thawan

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Stock photo by Tembela Bohle for Pexels

Phuket officials are serious about disease control orders banning parties and gatherings with friends, especially when alcohol is involved. They’re so serious, that apparently they’re searching for 4 foreigners who were seen drinking beers at a restuarant in Rawai.

Police raided the restaurant yesterday at a complaint from a woman who works for the local district office. She was out on a campaign pushing for locals to wear face masks when she noticed that some people were sitting at the Roxanne restuarant, having a beer. Photos as well as a video was sent to the police showing a group of 4 foreign men and 2 Thai women sitting at the restaurant together.

Along with police officers, local officials from the Muang District Office and Rawai Municipality showed up to the restuarant. Reports say the men were seen driving off on motorcycles just as as the team of 10 officers and public officials arrived. The beer was still on the table when police arrived.

Officers took the owner of the restaurant and 4 of the employees to the Chalong Police Station. The owner is facing charges of breach of the provincial order banning the sale of alcohol and allowing the consumption of alcohol on the premises.

Just last week, police raided a home in Cherngtalay, breaking up a gathering of 6 people. 2 men from the UK who work in Phuket were taken to the police station and fined 6,000 baht whilst police were still waiting for another 4 people to present themselves at the police station.

As part of the disease control measures to contain the spread of Covid-19, preparing Phuket for a possible Covid and quarantine-free reopening in July, officials have banned social activities and gatherings, with the expection of traditional events like funerals. Phuket authorities have warned that foreign residents who break the rules could be subject to being deported.

SOURCE: Phuket News

Phuket police search for foreigners who were seen drinking beer at a restaurant | News by Thaiger

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

12 Covid-19 violators busted drinking on Patong Beach

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: A group drinking on the beach was arrested for violating Covid-19 restrictions. (via Freepik)

12 violators of Covid-19 restrictions, of Thai and foreign origin, have been arrested and taken into custody by police for gathering and drinking in public on Patong Beach. The Covid-19 measures currently in place in Phuket ban all get-togethers involving alcohol, limiting the number that can drink together to just 2 people. The group were arrested for violating this order and for drinking in public.

According to the police the group had 3 foreign men in it along with 5 Thai women and 3 Thai ladyboys, so for those keen at maths the details of the 12th person were not revealed. The Covid-19 rule violators were arrested Friday night in Patong on the walkway along the beach on Thaweewong Road, the popular beachfront road.

Police noted the specifics of their liquor stash, confirming that the group had 2 bottles and 8 cans of Thai beer, 2 imported beers, 4 wine coolers, 4 soda waters, and 2 bottles of Thai liquor. The stash was confiscated by the police.

The perpetrators were brought to Phuket town to the Phuket City Police Station. There they were met by the Phuket Vice governors and medical personnel from Vachira Phuket Hospital. The medics administered swab sample Covid-19 test to each member of the group of restriction violators.

The Vice Governor reminded people that these restrictions were put in place after more than 20 people tested positive for Covid-19 from a small group of people drinking together. That is why the regulations allow just two people together when alcohol is involved. He stressed that police and government officials have been instructed to crack down on violators to try to quickly curb the spread of Covid-19 for a chance at reopening to international tourism July 1st.

Officials asked the public to work together to attempt to eliminate the spread of Covid-19 in Phuket and instructed anybody who sees violators of the Covid-19 restrictions to contact the police immediately. Sentence and fine details were not yet available for the group of 12.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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