Connect with us


Two more tourists drown in Phuket

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET CITY: The official death toll from drowning in Phuket since the beginning of the year now stands at 33, following the two most recent cases – both foreign tourists.

Ukrainian Viktor Pravoyuk, 59, got into trouble at the stretch of Patong Beach in front of Loma Park in Patong in the early afternoon last Friday and was pronounced dead at 1:45pm at Patong Hospital.

Jukkapong Luang-On of the Kathu Police said the victim struggled in the heavy surf and drowned before lifeguards were able to reach him.

As of today, Mr Pravoyuk’s family has yet to contact the police and his body remains in the Patong Hospital morgue.

Lt Jukkapong urges Mr Pravoyuk’s family to contact the Kathu Police (Tel: 076-342719-20) as soon as possible to advise them on funeral or repatriation arrangements.

The second victim, 37-year-old Latvian national Alvars Vanags, drowned at the stretch of Karon Beach across from the South Sea Karon Resort, just south of the traffic circle, on Sunday afternoon.

Mr Vanags was staying at the Movenpick Resort in Karon with his wife and three sons.

Mr Vanags disappeared beneath heavy surf at about 4pm as his family looked on in horror.

Members of the local beach guard recovered his body and rushed him to Patong Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

His drowning followed an all-too-familiar pattern.

Mr Vanags entered the surf in spite of red warning flags and direct verbal warnings from lifeguards.

Col Boonlert Onklang of the Chalong Police said the victim’s wife, 41-year-old Anna Vanags, managed to warn her sons out of the water in time.

Her husband, however, swam out too far and disappeared under the surf about two minutes after getting in trouble, she said.

Chalong Police are now co-ordinating efforts with the family and the Latvian Embassy in dealing with Mr Vanag’s remains, Col Boonlert said.

Col Boonlert said this most recent drowning further reinforced his belief that red flags, warning signs and verbal warnings alone are not enough to keep “overconfident” foreigners from entering the dangerous monsoon-season surf.

“The beach guards can’t help everybody on time. Foreigners don’t fear it and we lack laws to prevent them from swimming. All we can do is warn them of the risks,” he said.

A source at LP Laikhum Company, the firm hired by the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization to provide lifeguard services at 12 west coast beaches, said the official tally of deaths by drownings in the province since the beginning of the year now stands at 33.

The true total may well be higher than that.

— Khunakorn Terdkiatkhachorn


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


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.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)57 mins ago

Saturday Covid-19 Update: 11,975 infections, 127 deaths

Thailand17 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Nov 1 reopening proposed; arrest for “sexy” officer cosplay | September 24

Coronavirus (Covid-19)18 hours ago

Covid-19 UPDATE: Provincial totals, vaccinations and more

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Coronavirus (Covid-19)20 hours ago

Contrary to Anutin, US says delivery of vaccines awaits Thailand

Thailand21 hours ago

Sunsets, ‘Farangs’ and Boring Charisma | Thaiger Bites | Ep. 25

Thailand21 hours ago

CCSA approves reopening delay, state of emergency extension

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand22 hours ago

Video of feet on bread appears to be from India, not Thailand

Thailand23 hours ago

Thailand Top Stories | Thailand’s security council approves Emergency Decree extension | Sep 24

Coronavirus (Covid-19)24 hours ago

Phuket Covid-19: 3 new deaths, 322 released from medical care

Malaysia1 day ago

Malaysia considers further re-opening to domestic tourism

Thailand1 day ago

Thailand Re-opening, Costs and challenges | Good Morning Thailand | Ep. 96

Weather1 day ago

Weather warning issued as tropical storm Dianmu approaches

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Education ministry to accelerate vaccination of over 200,000 teachers

Myanmar1 day ago

US judge orders Facebook to disclose anti-Rohingya content as part of international case against Myanmar

Tourism1 day ago

Tourism operators slam government as re-opening postponed to November

Tourism3 days ago

Travel data to Thailand for 106 million people unprotected online

Economy5 days ago

Cuts to import duty on alcohol, cigars, part of plan to entice wealthy foreigners

Crime4 days ago

OnlyFans content creators arrested by Thai police on pornography charges

Thailand4 days ago

Party at luxury villa in Phuket raided, homeowner allegedly assaults police officer

Coronavirus Vaccines5 days ago

Doctors say cardiac arrest caused death of man given AstraZeneca booster shot

Tourism7 days ago

Local businesses say they aren’t profiting from Phuket Sandbox

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 days ago

Covid-19: Detailed info on vaccinations, hospitalisations, and provinces

Thailand5 days ago

Around 20 people arrested at Koh Samui restaurant for drinking alcohol, gambling, playing pool

Bangkok4 days ago

Governor says Bangkok will only re-open when safe to do so

Thailand4 days ago

Bangkok re-opening Criteria, Thai Airways keeps Struggling | Good Morning Thailand | Episode 93

Phuket2 days ago

Police suddenly began raiding Patong bars selling alcohol

Thailand5 days ago

Morning Top Stories | No approved October re-opening, Phuket easing restrictions | September 20

Crime3 days ago

Ex-cop “Joe Ferrari,” other officers charged with violating discipline policy over suspect’s death

Phuket6 days ago

Phuket domestic travel rules need streamlining, officials discuss

Thailand4 days ago

Government warns that posting pornographic material is illegal following OnlyFans creator being questioned by police

Thailand2 weeks ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Tourism7 months ago

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

Phuket7 months ago

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

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

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

Tourism7 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand9 months ago

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

Thailand9 months ago

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