PHUKET: The shocking photograph above of Austrian Rupert Wilhelmstatter should alarm everyone who cares about tourism and Phuket.
It was taken with a mobile telephone soon after Mr Wilhelmstatter's motorcycle was kicked from beneath him by a couple of Phuket boys bent on theft.
In the struggle that followed, Mr Wilhelmstatter defended himself. Tonight, in Bangkok Hospital Phuket's intensive care unit, the picture was completely different.
Mr Wilhelmstatter was looking much better, sitting up bare-chested, still on oxygen and being monitored, but chatting and smiling.
His right hand is heavily bandaged. It has been badly cut and will need more surgery. We figure that in defending himself, he grabbed the knife's blade.
Whether the shallow wound to his right side was delivered with the same knife or another, we can't say. His recovery, we learned, has been hampered by congestion in his chest and problems with the blood supply in his right thigh.
It is difficult as hospital visitors over the past couple of days for Phuketwan not to compare Mr Wilhelmstatter's case and that of another tourist about the same age, Russian Nikolai Nefedov, who underwent more surgery today on his badly cut left leg, just down the road in Phuket City at Vachira Hospital Phuket.
Mr Nefedov was struck by the propeller of a wayward speedboat on Friday. Since his fortunate escape from an extremely dangerous situation, he and his wife have faced added expense and the trauma such an unexpected injury brings while on holiday.
In Mr Wilhelmstatter's case, police have reacted. Several other tourists had been attacked over a period of days, although none had sustained injuries of the kind Mr Wilhelmstatter suffered.
Five boys - children, really, at the ages of 13 and 14 - are now in detention and will probably serve time there if found guilty of the attacks.
In Mr Nefedov's case, there's a blank space where the official reaction should be.
Phuketwan today contacted Phuripat Theerakulpisut, Chief of Phuket's Marine Office 5, and it was the first he had heard of the propeller knifing into Mr Nefedov as the speedboat, with only the driver on board, ripped into a swimmers-only section of Kata beach.
Such incidents, he said, were accidents and he added, ''natural.''
Two cases involving serious injuries to tourists, two totally different reactions.
There has been no official request from Mr Wilhelmstatter to have his attackers arrested. Yet police have, thankfully, brought in the people responsible.
There has been no official request from Mr Nefedov to have the perpetrator of his seriously-injured leg brought to account. And nothing has happened.
No so much as a reprimand has been delivered. Given the official approach, a reprimand will never come.
The speedboat driver is still out there.
The five boys will serve time for their crime. The speedboat driver? No official reaction, no cause for concern or alarm . . . no problem.
If there is another propeller striking a tourist, will it be ''natural'' all over again? We wonder.
Marine Office 5's Khun Phuripat is correct about one point.
These things - kids out of control, or a speedboat out of its zone - will happen. But they are sure to happen more often than they should if there is no reaction when they do happen.
Importantly for Phuket, the way that officials react to serious incidents is how all tourists can quickly tell whether a destination really cares about the safety and security of its visitors, or not.
Does Phuket care? The answer is, sometimes.