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Maimed pilot in Phuket: ‘I will fly again’

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET TOWN: Cathay Pacific airline pilot Scott McDonald is trying to put his life back together after his lower calf and foot were sliced off by a speeding motorbike in a freak accident in Phuket late last month.

As the American lay bleeding on the pavement, a passerby who witnessed the accident used the victim’s cellphone to call for help โ€“ before pocketing the device and fleeing the scene.

Mr McDonald has undergone seven surgeries at Bangkok Hospital Phuket since the accident.

He is hoping a prosthetic calf and foot will allow him to resume his career and continue to indulge in his great love โ€“ golf.

The accident happened shortly after midnight on January 24.

Chicago-native McDonald, 43, was heading up Thepkrasattri Road towards his home at Yacht Haven when his cell phone rang.

He stopped his Harley Davidson Fatboy by the side of the road, just north of Blue Canyon Country Club.

Turning the parking light on and still straddling the bike, he answered the cellphone. As he suspected, it was his girlfriend Wan calling to ask him when he would return home.

He told Wan he would be home in ten minutes. “Just as I was saying that, wham. I got slammed from behind. I thought it was a car that hit me, it was so loud.”

What hit the American was a speeding Honda Dream ridden by two Thai men. “I think it was going at at least 100kmh,” Mr McDonald said.

His foot was sliced clean off above the ankle.

“I just remember being thrown and then crawling over as far left as I could on the road because I thought I was gonna get hit by a car now. And from there I don’t really remember a lot. I was in shock,” he said.

Wan was still listening, horrified, on the cellphone. “I heard screaming, ‘Ah! Ah! Ah!’. Then quiet.”

Mr McDonald’s memories of the accident are hazy, though he can remember asking someone who rushed to the scene to call Wan.

After telling Wan where the accident scene was, that person disappeared โ€“ with Mr McDonald’s cellphone in hand. It has not been returned.

By the time Wan arrived, Kusoldharm Foundation workers had already taken Mr McDonald to Bangkok Hospital Phuket, where he continues to receive treatment.

He immediately faced the difficult decision of whether to have his foot, now infected, sown back on or surgically amputated above the existing wound.

He decided to follow doctors’ recommendations, choosing amputation.

“The prosthetics they can make are very up to par these days,” he said.

Scott’s employers, Cathay Pacific, have been ‘very, very supportive’, he said.

“They told me just the first or second day afterwards, ‘Remember your career is not over with Cathay Pacific’.”

At the time of writing Mr McDonald, an eight year resident of Phuket, was due to have his leg sown up on February 4. Despite the loss of the foot, he said he still plans to go through with his plan to marry Wan.

The driver of the motorbike that hit Mr McDonald, and his passenger, are receiving treatment at Vachira Hospital Phuket.

Inspector Sarit Budnongsang of Tah Chat Chai Police said an investigation was underway to discover who was at fault.

— K. Pornmongkhonwat & D. Waites

 

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

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

UPDATE: Phuket restrictions and bans extended, new ‘party’ clause added

Tim Newton

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on

UPDATE: Including a new clause…

โ€œ5.2 Participating in eating or drinking of alcohol, in the family home or in any other place of residence, must not be attended by outsiders. In addition, gathering together or the organising of any other activities is prohibited. If the person who violates or commits this offence is a foreigner, the permission to remain living in Thailand under the Immigration Act could be revoked.โ€

The new clause added to the extension of the restrictions includes a specific paragraph aimed at banning gatherings of people at their homes. Obviously with THIS in mind.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Phuket’s list of current ‘Covid’ restrictions have been extended until at least May 31. All the current levels of restrictions will remain until the end of the month after the Phuket Governor announced the continuation of restrictions this afternoon.

Daily new infection numbers continue to add to the island’s total of 556 since the start of April. The island’s latest wave started after a series of events, mostly Bangkok partygoers flying down for parties at Cafรฉ Del Mar in Kamala, Illusion and Shelter, both in Bangla Road. The parties were organised by a Thong Lor based events company called Kolour. The daily numbers, whilst relatively stable, have not been going down as officials were hoping.

The announcement also puts any hope of a July 1 ‘quarantine free’ tourism opening in severe doubt. The island’s vaccine roll out has also slowed since the initial flurry of enthusiasm. Only 22% of Phuket’s population has currently been vaccinated (a long way ahead of the rest of the country) whilst the minimum vaccination level has to reach 70% according to the Government before they will entertain the ‘Sandbox’ opening proposal.

Entry to the island, by road or air, will remain restricted and anyone without proof of vaccination or a current PCR Covid test (within 72 hours) will have to do a full 14 day quarantine period (after May 15). The rapid Covid tests that were being conducted at the airport and Tha Chatchai Checkpoint are being stopped from this Saturday.

Notably, following the story of foreigners in Cherngtalay being fined 6,000 baht each for hosting a party at their home on Sunday night, the ban on gatherings and parties will continue.

Meanwhile, the island has reported its first death during the third wave of cases since the start of April, and a new cluster of infections in the Phoon Pon district in Phuket Town. The man that died was a 71 year old man who died yesterday morning.

UPDATE: Phuket restrictions and bans extended, new 'party' clause added | News by Thaiger

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket restrictions and bans to stay in place until end of May

Tim Newton

Published

on

Phuket’s list of current ‘Covid’ restrictions have been extended until at least May 31. All the current levels of restrictions will remain until the end of the month after the Phuket Governor announced the continuation of restrictions this afternoon.

Daily new infection numbers continue to add to the island’s total of 556 since the start of April. The island’s latest wave started after a series of events, mostly Bangkok partygoers flying down for parties at Cafรฉ Del Mar in Kamala, Illusion and Shelter, both in Bangla Road. The parties were organised by a Thong Lor based events company called Kolour. The daily numbers, whilst relatively stable, have not been going down as officials were hoping.

The announcement also puts any hope of a July 1 ‘quarantine free’ tourism opening in severe doubt. The island’s vaccine roll out has also slowed since the initial flurry of enthusiasm. Only 22% of Phuket’s population has currently been vaccinated (a long way ahead of the rest of the country) whilst the minimum vaccination level has to reach 70% according to the Government before they will entertain the ‘Sandbox’ opening proposal.

Entry to the island, by road or air, will remain restricted and anyone without proof of vaccination or a current PCR Covid test (within 72 hours) will have to do a full 14 day quarantine period (after May 15). The rapid Covid tests that were being conducted at the airport and Tha Chatchai Checkpoint are being stopped from this Saturday.

Notably, following the story of foreigners in Cherngtalay being fined 6,000 baht each for hosting a party at their home on Sunday night, the ban on gatherings and parties will continue.

Meanwhile, the island has reported its first death during the third wave of cases since the start of April, and a new cluster of infections in the Phoon Pon district in Phuket Town. The man that died was a 71 year old man who died yesterday morning.

Phuket restrictions and bans to stay in place until end of May | News by Thaiger

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid-19 infections cast doubt on plan to reopen Phuket July 1

Neill Fronde

Published

on

FILE PHOTO: Phuket may not be ready to welcome back visitors July 1st.

With surging Covid-19 infections, the original plan for Phuket to reopen the international border to tourism on July 1st without quarantine may be unlikely. The governor warned today that the plan may be in jeopardy if they don’t reach the proposed May 15 goal of reducing infections to less than 10 each day. Governor Narong Woonciew called on everyone to work together to keep the infections down as the current rate of 10 to 15 per day will almost definitely delay the sandbox plan for international visitors to arrive in Phuket without quarantine in July.

Daily infections are on the rise in Phuket and high-risk people in local quarantine are still spreading infections, according to the provincial health officer’s assessment of the Covid-19 situation. During proactive screening an active case finding, new clusters of infections continue to be uncovered, a problem that has been attributed to continued partying and social gatherings that violate current Covid-19 restrictions. The health officials warned that, as a result, more aggressive actions may be necessary to control the spread of the Coronavirus in Phuket if it is to reopen in July.

Under the current restrictions of the Covid-19 emergency decree, even two people that aren’t from the same household joining together for socializing or mingling could be considered a gathering and punishable with legal action. Officials are speaking out about the threat of more Covid-19 outbreaks due to large gatherings, citing several events that were broken up recently.

One such group in Phuket garnered a lot of attention online with many people surprised that it was considered a gathering and busted up. A group of six British and Thai people that the police raided yesterday at a home in Thalang were reportedly drinking and celebrating. This is a violation of the disease decree and local Covid-19 safety measures, and 2 British nationals were charged a 6000 baht fine each.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

 

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