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Karon beach, where lifeguards still struggle to prevent drownings

Phuket Tourist Drowns as Karon Lifeguards Fail in Revival Attempt

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Russian man has been named as Gavrilov Romansidy, 29.

Original Report

PHUKET: A Russian tourist drowned while swimming at Karon, Phuket's most dangerous beach, this afternoon and failed to respond to resuscitation attempts by lifeguards.

The man, aged 29, ignored red flags and went into the water with three friends, a liefguard club spokesperson said this evening.

''The men swam out off the beach quite some distance,'' the spokesperson said. ''About 3.20pm, one of the men got into difficulties.

''Lifeguards swam and out and brought the man back to shore, where they performed cpr. The man failed to regain consciousness.''

Karon is one of the longest of Phuket's popular west coast tourist beaches. The number of lifeguard pods was increased from three to four earlier this year because of Karon's reputation as the most dangerous stretch of sand on the island.

Lifeguards at the pod closest to where the men entered the water - towards the northern end, opposite a statue of a fisherman and Tony's Restaurant - did not have a jet-ski to execute a rescue beyond the breakers.

The man was dead by the time an ambulance arrived. ''Rip'' currents make Karon more dangerous than other Phuket beaches between April and November, although it is generally tranquil and much safer the rest of the year.

The lifeguard spokesperson said that red flags were flying, and that the beach was busy today.

Language difficulties and non-compliance often make it difficult for lifeguards to keep the water clear of swimmers on red-flag days.

Phuketwan has been provided with the man's name but is withholding publication until Russian honorary consul officials have an opportunity to notify relatives.

It is believed the four friends were holidaying in Patong, the popular beach to the north of Karon. The man's body is in Patong Hospital.
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Comments have been disabled for this article.


A big well done to the lifeguard who risked his own life to pull this Russian from the sea. I hope he feels no guilt in failing to save this man,who through his own stupid actions could have cost him to lose his life as well. The world is full of idiots and the sea just got another one that's why the beach is flagged and sign posted red flags on beaches even in Russia mean don't swim.

Posted by Scunner on November 9, 2011 18:42


The Lifeguards should (like they do with the motorbikes "no wearing helmet") start to fine the tourists non respecfull to the red flags a minimum of 2000 bahts sounds great; you'll see less drownings maybe...

Posted by red card on November 9, 2011 21:29


whats up with russian people and red flags?

Posted by Call on November 10, 2011 00:18


To report this is a sin. Thailand is suffering from the floods that drive away tourists. The report is like pouring oil on a fire. Swimmers drown everywhere in the world everyday. And lifeguards are not gods and the lifeguards in the story were not responsible for that death at all. Does the reporter know CPR has a very low rate of success? Alert lifeguards who swam to bring the man to shore and tried to resuscitate him are already heroes. Phuket is as safe as anywhere else and Thai people are friendlier and more helpful than average.

Posted by Anonymous on November 10, 2011 08:16

Editor Comment:

Dear Anonymous Person, if you wish to live in a world where news is suppressed, try Burma or China. Alternatively, you could also try comprehending what you read instead of imagining what's not there. Why not familiarise yourself with the topic before sounding off aimlessly - and namelessly?


Red Card - you say "start to fine the tourists non respecfull to the red flags a minimum of 2000 bahts sounds great; you'll see less drownings maybe - but" What if the lifeguards begins to put down white crosses too - on the spot of the drowning?

Posted by Retired roadworker on November 10, 2011 08:37


@ Anonymous

You should try North Korea - I guarantee no unauthorized news, opinions or even thoughts are allowed there.

You'd be in heaven.

Karon beach is very dangerous and not enough effort is being made to inform people of the dangers. Reports like this are a vital part of getting that message across.

Posted by Steve.C on November 10, 2011 08:38


If the lifeguards are going to continue to allow tourists to go into the water and make no attempt to stop them (and they do every day with red flags flying) Then they need to put jet-ski patrols outside the breakwater with communications for quick response that could have been called when the men first went out beyond the break water to bring them back in and fine them if you like. If the seas are so dangerous that you can't put out a Jet Ski patrol then they need to walk the beach and order the people out of the water. Ocean beach in California is just as dangerous with 7 million visitors a year but the lifeguards take control they don't just sit around for the most part and react after the fact they stay proactive a system needed on Phukets beaches from April to December. Tourist right or wrong see others in the water and no one saying a word so it must not be so bad and they go in. Don't blame the tourist for wanting to have a good time. A simple whistle and hand waving is all the foreign language a lifeguard needs to take control of a Beach.

Posted by mike on November 10, 2011 12:34

Editor Comment:

And what if the swimmers ignore the whistles and the waves, mike, as happens every day on Phuket? If you also have a spare jet-ski or even some cash towards one, the cash-strapped lifeguards would welcome your contribution. Answers are easy when money is no problem.


Call - Maybe they think the meaning of the red flag is "Russians only"

Posted by Retired roadworker on November 10, 2011 17:40

Friday December 9, 2022
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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