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Ocean tragedy: German father drowns, son survives off Phuket's Karon Beach

Photo via ThaiRath

A German father tragically drowned while swimming at Karon Beach in Phuket yesterday while his 11 year old son survived the terrifying incident.

The Thai lifeguard team on Karon Beach rescued the 52 year old German, Jurgen Ralf Wiltzsch, who lost consciousness at the bottom of the sea. The rescue team was called to the scene and provided CPR to Wiltzsch and transferred him to Chalong Hospital but staff could not save the foreign man.

According to ThaiRath, the German father and his 11 year old son, Cavl Edwin Wiltzsch, were swimming together at about 7.30pm. The wind and waves were very strong for the two foreigners. The child successfully swam back to the shore, but his father, unfortunately, disappeared into the sea.

The dead body of the man was transferred for an autopsy at Vachira Phuket Hospital. The relevant departments are coordinating with the Embassy of Germany in Thailand to relay the tragic news to his family.

ThaiRath did not report whether a red flag was visible to warn tourists of the dangerous swimming conditions.

According to the Phuket Times yesterday, Phuket has seen four deaths of tourists due to drowning incidents over five days.

A Senegalese tourist’s life was tragically claimed at Freedom Beach, while two Indian men met the same fate at Karon Beach. Surin Beach witnessed a heart-wrenching incident that claimed the lives of Thai and Russian visitors. Most of the tourists reportedly ignored the red flag warning on the beaches.

A Thai man, 28 year old Atichart Jehma-ah, revealed during an interview with the Daily News that he has helped more than 10 people from near-drowning situations at Jao Mai Beach in the southern province of Trang.

Atichart shared that some people, especially children, did not recognise or understand the meaning of the red flags and the warning flags in other colours. He wanted government departments to provide enough buoys for beachgoers to hold onto in emergencies.

Atichart also urged the authorities to monitor the beaches and warned the visitors by themselves because tourists tend to place greater trust in official warnings than the advice of locals.

Warning flags on the beaches in Thailand are divided into four types:

  • Two red flags: Extremely dangerous, swimming prohibited.
  • One red flag: High risk, swimming not advised.
  • Yellow flag: Caution advised when swimming.
  • Yellow and red flags: Lifeguards on duty.
  • Green flag: Safe conditions for swimming.

Additionally, some beaches opt for yellow or purple flags to alert visitors about the presence of jellyfish.

Phuket NewsThailand News


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