Tourism News

Tourism News Phuketwan Tourism News
facebook recommendations


Sign up now for our News Alert emails and the latest breaking news plus new features.

Click to subscribe

Existing subscribers can unsubscribe here


Australian Michael Andrew Harman as pictured in his passport

Phuket Tragedies: Two Tourists Die Lonely Deaths

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Australian, according to a passport, is Michael Andrew Harman, 59, whose birthplace is Camperdown. The German, according to a credit card, is Alfred Forsch.

Original Report

A GERMAN tourist was found dead in the water at a Phuket beach yesterday just 90 minutes after another tourist, from Australia, suffered an apparent fatal heart attack at a Phuket resort pool.

The female companion of the 59-year-old Australian appeared to be so traumatised by the death of the man that she caught the first flight back to Sydney today.

Before leaving, she told police investigating officer Colonel Boonlert On-klang, of Chalong, that she had not known the dead man for long.

''I don't know where his family is or where he is from,'' she said. ''We just met each other a few days before we flew to Phuket.''

The woman declined to even take care of the dead man's belongings and refused to stay on Phuket any longer.

The woman's name was given on the dead man's passport as the contact person in the event of problems, Colonel Boonlert said.

The woman told police that about 2.30pm yesterday, she emerged from the pool at the Horizon Resort, in Karon, where she had been swimming with the man.

She turned and saw other guests helping him from the water, she told police.

The man's body is now at Patong Hospital, where it will stay until Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs officials are able to track down his next of kin.

The German man was discovered in the water at Kata Noi about 4pm yesterday, 90 minutes after the Australian died.

Other swimmers pulled him from the water. His body is now in Vachira Hospital in Phuket City while German embassy officials trace his relatives.

Police believe the man, aged about 70, came to Phuket in January intending to stay for four months. They believe he rode a motorcycle alone from the Kanjana Guesthouse, in Nanai Road, Patong, to Kata Noi to swim yesterday.

Phuketwan has been given the names of both men but is withholding publication until relatives in Europe and Australia have been notified.

Phuket has had no lifeguards on its popular beaches since mid-November because Thai law requires prospective lifeguard service providers to go through a tendering process.

An increasing number of drownings at popular Phuket beaches, especially during last year's monsoon season, raised doubts about the efficiency of warnings and the training of beach rescuers.

Higher-than-normal figures for deaths while on holiday in Thailand reflect the fact that tourists usually lead a more active life than they would in their homelands, engaging in vigorous exercise, often drinking more, and riding motorcycles.
Phuket Spate of Crashes: Briton,Three Thais Killed
UPDATE A fourth death marks a morning of horror on Phuket's roads. Two Thais and a British man die in road crashes in southern Phuket, then comes a shocking hit run at Tesco Lotus.
Phuket Spate of Crashes: Briton,Three Thais Killed

Phi Phi Riddle: Embassy 'Fails to Ease Ryan's Pain'
US Embassy Responds In a passionate message, the father of a Phi Phi deaths riddle survivor makes a plea for answers. He also criticises officials on the popular holiday island and the US embassy.
Phi Phi Riddle: Embassy 'Fails to Ease Ryan's Pain'

Help! Phuket Lifeguard System Needs Rescuing
Latest A plan to put lifeguards back on Phuket's beaches suffers when two tendering firms fail to front. The system needs saving before tourists and islanders swim into strife this ''summer.''
Help! Phuket Lifeguard System Needs Rescuing

Phuket Jellyfish: Warning Cover 'Makes No Sense'
Latest A Phuket seminar on jellyfish is told that transparency is the wisest course. Warning signs on Koh Lanta in Krabi were painted over after the death of a young tourist there.
Phuket Jellyfish: Warning Cover 'Makes No Sense'

Phuket's Holiday Toll: Australian Tourist Killed
UPDATE An Australian has been killed in a taxi travelling from Patong to Phuket airport, latest fatality on the island's roads as the toll for the dangerous New Year period mounts
Phuket's Holiday Toll: Australian Tourist Killed

Phuket Drowning: 'Where's Max? Where's Max?'
New Year Tragedy A young boy who survived the tragedy that killed a friend at a Phuket beach asks: 'Where's Max? Where's Max?' The island should be asking, 'Where are the lifesavers?'
Phuket Drowning: 'Where's Max? Where's Max?'


Comments have been disabled for this article.


Please get your act together.

The REASON for Phuket currently not having life guards, is NOT that you have to go through a tendering process. The problem is, that is it not done in time.

The higher figures for drowning and traffic casualties are not, the people living an active life. The problem is the lack life guards and the lack of traffic law enforcement.

Stop the silly excuses and start solving the real problems.

Editor: Phuketwan's campaigns to improve safety on the roads and in the water have been widely supported and praised. When your campaign starts, please let us know. .

Posted by A Phuket fan on March 6, 2010 15:50


I am really fed up with these drownings. The ITB fair in Berlin seems a nice place to bring up the safety and rip-off issues.

"PHUKET, you want to drown?" or "PHUKET, tourists are prey, take a tuktuk."

"PHUKET, your cash is welcome."

@ A Phuket fan: seems to me, you are not a regular reader. Otherwise you would know better.

Posted by Lena on March 6, 2010 19:40


I wonder if all the jellyfish that have been in the water lately have anything to do with these deaths?

Posted by Anonymous on March 6, 2010 21:09


I have read nothing to suggest either of these people drowned; therefore to blame lack of lifeguards, and mention the number of drownings here is irrelevant.

Lena - re-read the articles. Who said either person drowned, or that a lifeguard would have somehow, miraculously, saved them?

Posted by Glenn on March 7, 2010 00:39


Let's not get pedantic about safety in the water. These are both tragic and possibly avoidable deaths. True, drowning may not have been the cause. Only an autopsy will reveal that. However, a trained and alert lifeguard nearby could have spotted the men in difficulty much earlier. And a lifeguard trained in applying cpr fast may have been able to save one or both lives, whether the cause was a heart attack, a stroke, or drowning.

Posted by Angelfire on March 7, 2010 06:23


This is Thailand!! How many can afford this lifestyle in your own countries?

All this whining about traffic laws and lack of police...Whaaaaaa. You want to pay third world prices - you're gonna live in a third world.

Posted by 3rd Worlder on March 7, 2010 09:50


@3rd Worlder - since when is PHUKET third-world priced. With exception of local food, everything is first word priced and higher in many cases. Look at transportation. Look at room rates(Not the low end), look at car prices, look at entertainment prices (water park), look at electronics, look at anything really and tell me how its "third-world priced"

Posted by chris on March 12, 2010 11:09


I was a friend of the German man who drowned at Kata Noi beach. His name is Alfred (no secret anymore) and a I feel really sorry for him. He was so happy in Phuket and was even considering to stay in Thailand for good. Why such a noble man like Alfred had to leave this world like this. May he rest in peace !

Posted by Lars on March 14, 2010 02:12

Thursday August 11, 2022
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


Facebook Twitter