Russian tourist dies after Phuket beach rescue effort

PHUKET: A 57-year-old Russian tourist has died after being pulled from the water at Phuket’s Kata Beach this morning.

Lt Tianchai Duangsuwan of Chalong Police named the victim as Uriu Varnakov.

“He was on holiday in Phuket with his girlfriend and his girlfriend’s parents,” he said.

Uten Singsom, head of the Phuket Lifeguard Club stationed at Kata Beach, told the Phuket Gazette that a tourist spotted Mr Varnakov floating face down in thigh-deep water in front of the Club Med resort at about 10am.

“Some jet-ski operators nearby saw this and rushed to help the tourist by pulling him back to shore,” Mr Uten said.

“A Club Med nurse, another lifeguard and I tried hard to safe his life. We gave CPR to him for about 30 minutes before an ambulance from Patong Hospital arrived and rushed him to hospital,” he added.

Mr Varnakov was pronounced dead on arrival at Patong Hospital.

Mr Uten said there had been no reports of people hearing Mr Varnakov shouting or signalling for help, although there were about 20 people in the water around him.

“Also, there were no strong currents or rip tides. This morning there was nice clear water and nice weather. So at this stage we are not sure whether he suffered some form of shock in the water which might have caused him to drown,” he explained.

Supachai Janphet, an officer stationed at the Royal Thai Navy Sea Rescue unit nearby, was also at the scene this morning.

“I would like to suggest that people who have medical disorders, are recovering from an operation, or are simply quite old, not go in the water alone,” he said.

— Atchaa Khamlo

Phuket News
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