Search continues for American missing at Nai Harn Beach

Image courtesy of Khaosod

Police in Phuket are intensifying their search for an American who went missing after being swept away by waves at Nai Harn Beach. Strong winds and high waves are hindering rescue efforts, with lifeguards raising red flags to warn against swimming. His wife, 49 year old Siriaamorn Petchraawut, hopes for a miracle.

The 49 year old American father, James Everett du Bois, and his three year old son went missing at Nai Harn Beach in Rawai, Phuket. Lifeguards were able to rescue the boy but du Bois was pulled into the waters by a strong rip current and is still missing.

Phuket Kusoldharm Foundation’s diving team searched the waters but had to halt the operation due to rough sea conditions. By 8.30pm, the dive team ceased their search for safety reasons, given the strong waves and winds making underwater search operations perilous.

Reporters on the scene observed that Rawai Municipality had established a special search centre at Nai Harn Beach. Multiple agencies are now involved in the search for James along the coastline.

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Lifeguards continue to place red flags along the beach to warn against swimming, as the turbulent sea conditions persist, posing significant challenges to the search efforts.

Siriaamorn recounted the incident, stating that they arrived at the beach at 4pm. It was a usual Sunday activity for the family. However, the waves seemed particularly strong that day.

Dangerous conditions

Du Bois had taken his son into the water first. Siriaamorn tested the water herself and found it normal at first, noting that many children were playing nearby. Initially, the beach was marked with yellow and red flags, but these were later changed to red flags, indicating dangerous conditions.

She described how James, being tall, took their son further out to play despite the deteriorating weather. Siriaamorn noticed the change in the water conditions and decided to bring them back to shore.

Upon her realisation that her husband and son had gone missing, she attempted to locate him within the crowd of tourists. But like a needle in a haystack, she was unable to find him who had gone missing in just five minutes.

However, lifeguards were able to rescue their son. Siriaamorn hopes for a miracle to locate the boy’s father, stating that he is a family man who left his job to be with his family in Phuket, reported Khaosod.

The family’s routine Sunday outing turned into a tragic and desperate search, with hopes pinned on the possibility of James being found alive. The search efforts continue but the challenging sea conditions make the situation increasingly dire.

The incident has drawn attention to the dangers present at beaches during rough weather, emphasising the importance of heeding safety warnings and flag signals.

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Ryan Turner

Ryan is a journalism student from Mahidol University with a passion for history, writing and delivering news content with a rich storytelling narrative.

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