SURIN BEACH: American tourist Joseph Tito, 27, died today in the Bangkok Phuket hospital. He had been on life support since being pulled from the sea at Surin Beach on July 6. Pol Capt Anake Mongkol of Cherng Talay Police Station told the Gazette that Mr Tito’s death was the second one resulting from people getting into difficulties in the sea in the same area on the same day. The first, as reported in the Gazette Online, was that of a Japanese tourist, Mori Kazunari, who drowned in Bang Tao Bay near The Chedi, just around the point from Surin Beach. “I heard that someone warned Mr Tito that he should not go into the sea, and that he said he wasn’t going to go in deep; he just wanted to stroll in the water,” Capt Anake added. This was strenuously denied by the victim’s girlfriend, Lalida Techapanuwat, who told the Gazette, “I was with him. He wasnt warned at all. Nobody talked to us or told us anything.” Restaurant owner Ian “Diver” Dick, who pulled Mr Tito out of the water, confirmed that the victim was wearing a shirt, which might mean that he had not intended to swim. “By the time I got to him his head and shoulders were under the water,” Mr Dick added. Mr Tito was unconscious and was not breathing when he was pulled from the water. People on the beach continued to give him CPR until an ambulance arrived to take him to Thalang Hospital. Capt Anake confirmed that on that day there were no red flags on Surin Beach to warn beachgoers not to swim. Mr Dick, 53, Surin’s unofficial lifeguard, told the Gazette that this month has been particularly bad for people getting into trouble in the water. “I’ve been involved in five rescues myself,” he said. “Two of those have died. It’s hard work.”
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