Connect with us


Missing in action



Missing in action | Thaiger

PATONG: A sailor from the visiting Australian frigate HMAS Newcastle, feared to have drowned early yesterday in the surf off Patong, apparently had a miracle escape – he resurfaced later in the day, 15 kilometers inland, at a soccer match at Surakul Stadium. A full-scale search for the sailor, named by police as “James”, was sparked after his companion for the evening, 25-year-old Nok-iang Namsiwad, called police in the wee hours to say that, against her advice, “James” had decided to take a dip in the sea not far from the end of Soi Bangla. He had not returned, the worried bar girl reported. Pol Lt Col Narong Naetbud, Inspector of Phuket Marine Police, told the Gazette that a rescue vessel with five frogmen was immediately launched to search for the missing sailor. They found no sign of him. Col Narong said that “James” had been drinking earlier in Patong with his shipmates. “As the evening went on, he met Nok-iang,” Col Narong said. “They came to an agreement whereby she would step out with him in return for a payment of about 2,000 baht.” The two drank a beer together, he said, then went for a walk on the beach. They sat for a while on the sand, then “James” announced that he was going for a swim. When he failed to return after 20 minutes, Nok-iang raised the alarm. The Australian Navy was informed and the search was launched. After about 90 minutes, the search was called off for the night, with plans being made to look in daylight for the inevitable corpse. Pol Capt Punya Chaichana of the Phuket Marine Police explained, “Before the second search in the afternoon, Col Narong received a call from the Australian Navy that “James” was alive and well, and was currently at a friendly soccer match between the Australian Navy and the Royal Thai Navy Third Fleet at Surakul Stadium.” Police officers accompanied Nok-iang to the stadium, where she identified her missing paramour. Capt David Thomas, skipper of the Newcastle, told the Gazette, “By a process of elimination we worked out who the sailor was. We’d seen him ashore and we were convinced that he was okay. Obviously, he had come ashore a few yards up the beach.” “I’d like to say that the girl did a really sterling job; and the Thai organization that went into assisting the search was absolutely outstanding.” Declining to name the sailor, Capt Thomas said he doubted a police theory that “James” went for a swim as a graceful way of breaching his agreement with Nok-Iang. “I don’t believe that’s the case,” he said. “Why he went into the water, I have no idea, and I guess, at the end of the day, I don’t really want to know.”


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Chon Buri12 mins ago

CSD requeseted to take over Mountain B Pub fire investigation

Bangkok37 mins ago

Broke Bangkok can’t afford to finish underground cables project

Crime1 hour ago

UPDATE: Foreigner faces prison for parrotfishing in Thailand

Sponsored1 day ago

British International School, Phuket: Reflecting on 25 years of world-class education

Cannabis1 hour ago

Malaysia considers medical cannabis law shaped by Thai policy

Thailand2 hours ago

Dangerous social media trend encourages Thai teens to take rohypnol

Road deaths2 hours ago

Frenchman dies after being hit by sailor’s car in Phang Nga

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Cultural Activities3 hours ago

British artist creates land art in tribute to Bangkok governor

Crime3 hours ago

Jealous Swedish man stabs Thai boyfriend in the chest in Pattaya, Thailand

Bangkok3 hours ago

Benevolent Bangkok cabbie drives 12 hours to take destitute family home

Thailand4 hours ago

Tenant fined 140,000 baht for keeping dog in Bangkok condominium | GMT

Crime19 hours ago

Court issues arrest warrant for Sia B’s father, the ‘real owner’ of Mountain B

Thailand20 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Tourism minister joins Full Moon Party on Koh PhaNgan

World20 hours ago

Monkeypox variants renamed to avoid offending people

Tourism20 hours ago

Thailand ranks as fourth most popular destination among Chinese travellers

Crime21 hours ago

Thailand sentences musician to 6 years for royal defamation

Thailand11 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism1 year ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11