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The last photograph taken of Gao Yang, 20, before he fell into the sea

Phuket Tourist Tragedy: Cape Survivors Tell

Thursday, November 21, 2013
PHUKET: Survivors of a hike in which a Chinese student fell into the sea off Phuket and is missing, feared dead, say there should be warnings about the danger of clambering on Cape Promthep's rocks.

Gao Yang, 20, who was holidaying on Phuket with three other Chinese exchange students studying in Singapore, could not swim. He is an only child.

Liu Shujian, 21, fell from the rocks and was being treated today for cuts and bruises at the Phuket Provincial Administrative Organisation's Hospital in Phuket City.

Sisters Tang Wei, 21, and Tang Qiang, also 21, were with the young men on Phuket's Cape Promthep when Gao Yang and Liu Shujian slipped and fell into the sea. A search for Gao Yang resumes today.

The photograph above and others n the album are the last ones the group took before Gao Yang disappeared about 5.30pm yesterday.

Liu Shujian said at the hospital: ''I was standing on the land. Gao went into the sea and then the waves dragged him from the land. I reached my hand to help him but then the wave dragged me into the water too.

''I tried to swim back to the land but the wave kept dragging me, back and fourth, back and fourth for about four times. I was so exhausted.

''But finally, I reached the land. I looked back to the sea and found him 3-4 meters away from the land and then he disappeared. I told people on the land to go help him because I was really tired.

''But nobody moved.''

The three students were consoling each other at the hospital.

''That cape is very very dangerous,'' Liu Shujian said.

"There are many many tourists who travel here without a tour guide. We didn't know how dangerous that cape was but now we know. Nobody told us anything. We didn't know that we shouldn't have gone down there.''

The least the authorities could do is to provide a sign warning of the dangers, he said.

''The government should provide a sign to warn people not to go there. Or at least they should provide a sign to warn that it's dangerous so we can be aware. It's so dangerous. Why do they let many people to go down there?"

Tang Wei, added, "Gao is guy who always does dangerous things. He always get himself adventurous. His skin is full of scars."

"At first, we went down to the cape, Liu and Gao wanted to go really close to the wave, but my sister (Tang Qiang) and I were too scared.

''So we kept the distance from the wave, looking at them far out near the wave and took pictures of them."

"The waves and the wind were strong. It was very dangerous. But there was no warning. No sign.

"Why did it take so long for the police to come to the cape? And why isn't there any police with us at the hospital?''

Chinese envoys are in the process of establishing a consul on Phuket because of the large number of tourists coming to Phuket and the Andaman region.

Comments

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Questions these young people ask are exactly what everyone else asks and the response from the powers that be, are always excuses.
A sad and terrible loss for many people.

Posted by Tbs on November 21, 2013 07:41

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Sad, BUT where is the personal responsibility?

It wasnt me, i didnt know, not my fault......

Posted by paul on November 21, 2013 08:28

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"I told people on the land to go help him because I was really tired."

''But nobody moved.''

This says it all. Won't be long before you see Facebook pics and videos of this poor guy struggling in the sea.

Posted by Goran on November 21, 2013 08:35

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Sympathies to all involved, but is it really necessary to have to be told (by signs), that wet rocks and big waves are dangerous to non-swimmers?

Posted by agogohome on November 21, 2013 09:07

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Unfortunately, the story illustrates that some people refuse to take responsibility for their behaviour. The survivors say "there should be warnings about the danger of clambering on Cape Promthep's rocks". Really? Common sense says, one should not engage in such activity especially when wearing flip flops. They demand that the police should not have let them climb the rocks. Really? Maybe in China it is normal to have the state direct the activities of one's life, but for the rest of us, no thank you. They most certainly knew they should not engage in such dangerous behaviour. Liu Shujian told people on the land to go help his friend, because Liu was "really tired" and is upset that
"nobody moved". I wouldn't have moved either. the currents are dangerous and anyone jumping into the water in a misguided attempt at heroics would most likely have either been injured or drowned. The reluctance was prudent. These visitors have no one to blame but themselves.

Posted by Ryan on November 21, 2013 09:15

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If someone said jump off a cliff would you? So why the hell would you be standing so close to the cliff knowing you can't swim!!

Posted by Anonymous on November 21, 2013 09:26

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Whilst I sympathise for their loss they clearly identified from their comments that it was dangerous and chose to ignore it for the sake of photos. Looking at the pictures evenI can see it's slippery, wet and therefore dangerous- people do not need a sign to state the obvious. Singaporeans live in a very regulated society and maybe need to open their eyes more whilst travelling.

Posted by Mister Ree on November 21, 2013 09:27

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I'm sorry for their loss and understand his point of view but with all due respect, if you need a warning sign telling you big waves pounding the rocky shores are dangerous to get close to, you should never even leave your house back home to cross the street.

It's clear from his account that other members of their group had more common sense and stayed at a distance.

Posted by ThaiMike on November 21, 2013 10:34

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This is such an unfortunate accident, and proving to be another senseless tragedy. However, and I don't mean this to be rude, these kids should've known better when the wind and the waves were so strong. This entire accident could've been prevented with just a bit of common sense. My heart goes out to all involved.

Posted by Anonymous on November 21, 2013 10:38

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Yang Wei and Yang Qiang were scared enough to keep a distance. This implies a certain acknowledgement of the danger involved. Liu and Gao always do dangerous things and didn't care.

I very much hope for the best outcome of this tragedy.

Posted by Jakub P. on November 21, 2013 10:53

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"... Why do they let many people to go down there?" - It's a free world (albeit some say, that "it's a free market, not a free world).

Posted by raland on November 21, 2013 11:01

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Regardless of who is to blame the young man clearly did not think this would happen to him and might have still been alive in the sea as night fell. All the billions of Baht tourists bring to Thailand in tax alone Phuket should have had a search vessel with lights to search after dark. The naval base is only a few kms down the road.

Posted by same, same, but different on November 21, 2013 11:32

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I am sure the majority of us don't need a sign to warn against clambering onto slippery rocks trying to get to the waves was a bad idea....

Posted by Ty on November 21, 2013 11:41

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"The waves and the wind were strong. It was very dangerous. But there was no warning. No sign."

Strong waves, strong wind!!! What else could nature do to warn boys "liking to do dangerous things" ?

Posted by Aachen on November 21, 2013 15:16

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By the way, I forgot: If I remember right you have to climb over a stone wall/fence to go down there! So it is not meant to go this way!

Posted by Aachen on November 21, 2013 15:20

Editor Comment:

There are stairs leading to a path to the cape. Many people make the journey safely without diverting to the rocks.

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What a shame...
Though this sort of thing doesn't surprise me with the Chinese..if you go to a lot of the tourist attractions in China health and safety is almost non existent and in places some of them could only be described as scary...Yet you see legions of chinese at those places acting like they are oblivious to the dangers...i think it's naivety more than anything...

Posted by Steve on November 22, 2013 02:25

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To view this whole thing objectively, we should have said those students were too careless, but when I was traveling in Taiwan, where the waves are even more dangerous along some sea shores, people are still standing there and fishing. Sometimes people like to do adventurous things, this lies in their nature, which I think cannot be blamed. And someone quoting about Chinese people risking their lives on those sites of interest and showing their nerve, I just want to say that you're not born in this country with 1.5billion people, then you're not gonna judge what people do there, sometimes what you see is not what it really is, you should learn to respect, at least would you do me a favor and be sympathetic, even pretending would seem more appropriate at this time. What we can do is only praying for this young man and his peers, improving the security condition cannot be finished in one day but we still hope that Phuket administrations can do more about this as you can see such kind of accident is not the only one ever happened on this island, if such things continue to happen, who would want to go there?

Posted by Anonymous on November 22, 2013 08:18

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Bye,my dear.

Posted by Anonymous on November 22, 2013 18:38


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