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A Karon lifeguard tries persuading reluctant tourists to leave the water

Drowned Russian Tourist Found on Karon Beach

Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Phuketwan Opinion/Analysis

THE BODY of missing Russian tourist Alexander Lukin was found in the surf at Karon beach at 8am today.

The 32-year-old visitor went for a swim on Sunday, the second day of his holiday on Phuket, and vanished.

Later on Sunday at Karon, we watched lifeguards urging a group of people to leave the water.

They were swimming at the spot where Mr Lukin disappeared, despite red flags along the shoreline and a sign warning of rip currents.

In doing more research, we were put in touch through Bangkok based journalist Andrew Drummond with the parents of another holidaymaker, James Patton who died at same beach in early June.

Here's what his mother Lynn wrote from Britain:

''James was on a quiet romantic holiday with his fiancee Beth, 21, and was drowned just hours before they were due to return to the UK the following morning.

''They had been together for over three years and had become engaged in January. James was the youngest of my four children and James and Beth were expecting a baby in November.

''My husband and I took two very happy, vibrant youngsters to Heathrow - two youngsters who were absolute soul mates with exciting futures, including a family, in front of them.

''My final words to James were 'Have a wonderful holiday darling and come home safely.'

''Beth was both devastated and traumatised by what happened on Karon Beach that day - she was not in the water but watched the whole proceedings from the shore, which included James being brought onto the beach from the sea.

''I understand that the beach was cleared and that she said her final goodbyes to him on the beach.

''Can you imagine having that vision for the rest of your life?

''James and Beth's baby is due to be born in mid November and the wonderful news is that Beth is keeping very healthy.

''James would have made a wonderful young dad - I wish you could have known him. He was such a lovely young man who always saw the best in everybody and had the most fantastic sense of humor.''

Comprehensive statistics are difficult to glean, but it's our understanding from talking to locals that al least 10 people have died at Phuket's popular western beaches over the past couple of months . . . most of them at Karon and Patong.

These deaths are preventable.

In the large Australian state of Queensland, a popular destination for beach holidays, there were no beach drownings in their three peak Summer months last season.

Much of the attention to proper signage and safety in Australia came after 1998 when four young children died together in the surf at a beach in the southern state of Victoria.

Two families mistakenly thought they were swimming in a section of the beach that was patrolled by lifesavers.

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Comments

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Karon Beach. I work at Karon, I am a dive instructor. The waves scare me some days. I cannot believe that people would try and go for a paddle when the surf is up. More red flags more signs in more languages. Russian tourist probably does not understand the sign, and the red flags look like decorations for a Chinese festival or something. Signs need to be every 100m along the beach reading "If you see big waves do not swim or you will die". Scare tactics? Life saver.

Posted by Mr Phuket on September 1, 2009 22:36


Monday July 6, 2020
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa

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