PHUKET CITY: An Italian tourist and a Thai recreational fisherman are Phuket’s two most recent drowning victims.
Kathu Police were notified at 5pm on Monday that Italian national Antonio Salvatorebucca, 46, went missing in the surf at Patong Beach, across from the Thara Patong Beach Resort.
The report was made by a friend of the deceased, 39-year-old Italian Zanchetta Gianluca.
Kathu Police Inspector Sophon Borrirak said the victim had arrived in Phuket from Italy with a group of friends the day before, intending to holiday in Phuket, Koh Samui and Chiang Mai.
Keen to swim, Mr Salvatorebucca ignored warnings about dangerous rip currents from both friends and members of the local beach guard.
As his friends were enjoying themselves on the beach, he wandered into the sea on his own.
He was soon hit by a large wave and disappeared beneath the surface, in view of friends and other tourists who were unable to assist him in time.
A five-hour search by Marine Police frogmen, beach guard members and volunteers proved fruitless.
Mr Salvatorebucca’s body finally washed ashore five hours later and was immediately identified by his friends.
Kusoldharm Foundation rescue workers took his remains to Patong Hospital for examination and repatriation.
In the second case, Cherng Talay Police early Sunday morning received a report that the body of a Thai man reported missing two days before had washed ashore at Surin Beach.
Rescue workers from the Kusoldharm Foundation recovered the body and took it to the Thalang Hospital morgue for examination.
Pol Capt Amnuaywit Markkhutod of the Cherng Talay Police identified the deceased as 32-year-old Prawit Phadaeng, a native of Nong Bua Lamphu.
Mr Prawit’s body was recovered about half a kilometer from where he was reported missing by friends two days before.
Friends told police that a group of them were fishing off the rocks in Cherng Talay Village 3 when a large wave crashed onto Mr Prawit, who fell into the surf and disappeared beneath the surface.
Efforts by the friends to find and save Mr Prawit failed and his disappearance was reported to police.
Mr Prawit’s bloated body was discovered by villagers at dawn on Sunday, Capt Amnuaywit said.
The police contacted Mr Prawit’s family, who are making funeral arrangements.
— Kitima Pornmongkhonwat
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