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People in the water this afternoon where a woman drowned this morning

Russian Woman Drowns at Phuket's Deadly Beach

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Russian tourist who drowned has been named as Irina Bobrova, 64, who arrived on Phuket with her husband Nikoley, 64, on December 1. They were due to fly home on Tuesday.

Original Report

A RUSSIAN tourist drowned after she was pulled from the surf at Phuket's notorious Karon beach today.

The woman died before an ambulance reached hospital in the neighboring Phuket resort town of Patong, a lifeguard spokesperson said.

Officials from the Russian consulate, which is based at a resort in Kata, close to Karon, are being notified.

Phuketwan has been told that the woman chose to swim despite red flags flying on Karon beach, outside the Thavorn Grand Phuket.

Lifeguards reported that red flags were being placed along the beach from 9am and at 9.15am, the Russian woman and her husband went swimming.

She was pulled from the water by her husband in a distressed state about 9.20am. Lifeguards tried to resuscitate the woman.

Lifeguards said they were told the couple had been holidaying at the Thavorn Palm Beach Resort.

Russian travellers to Phuket increased by 157 percent between Jaunary and September this year - and a greater proportion of them have also been drowning on Phuket beaches.

Phuket lifeguards say that Russians are more likely than people from other destinations to swim despite warnings.

This year the dangerous monsoon season, which creates potentially deadly and unseen rips beneath the water at some of Phuket's most famous west coast beaches, has extended into December, normally considered a safe time to swim.

Karon beach has a particularly bad reputation. While Karon can be tranquil during the high season, which is due to begin any day now and run through to April, it is treacherous for the rest of the year.

The toll of drownings at Karon beach especially continues to mount. It is easily Phuket's most dangerous beach between April and December.

Today's drowning is likely to intensify calls by the lifeguards for Karon beach to be closed on days when the red no-swim flags are flying.

Mysteriously, several drownings of tourists at Karon beach have yet to appear in official police records supplied to honorary consuls and embassies. The list of names purports to include all expat deaths.

Phuketwan and water safety experts advocate a three-stage warning system for Phuket tourists: a video warning screened with other essential information as every flight descends to Phuket; a personal warning delivered by every resort or guesthouse receptionist when visitors check in between April and December; and a warning from lifeguards at the beaches for anyone who tries to swim on dangerous red-flag days.

Latest figures from the Phuket Lifeguard Club, which patrols 13 popular Phuket beaches, show there were 406 rescues between October 26 and November 25, with one death and two cases requiring hospital treatment.

A total of 28 deaths had been recorded from drownings on Phuket to November 1, compared to 50 during the same period last year.

However, Phuketwan is unable to say whether the drownings that are absent from official police figures are absent or present in the official Public Health totals.

The Public Health department supplies monthly figures, but with no details, so the accuracy of the figures supplied cannot be confirmed.

There is also concern that figures from Phuket's private hospitals may not be included in the official statistics, which largely relate to Phuket's three public hospitals.

A lifeguard spokesperson told Phuketwan today that the body of the woman who drowned at Karon this morning was taken first to Patong Hospital, a public hospital, then on to Phuket International Hospital in Phuket City, a private hospital.

According to Public Health figures, drownings on Phuket amounted to 57 for the whole of 2009.
Six Phuket Expat Drownings, Deaths, Unrecorded
Latest A list that is supposed to include all expat deaths on Phuket for the year so far actually fails to include at least six expat deaths, four of them drownings at Karon and Kata beaches.
Six Phuket Expat Drownings, Deaths, Unrecorded

Phuket 'Death Beach' Claims Two More in a Day
Latest Phuket's notorious Karon beach becomes a horror stretch again as two people, one a tourist and one a Thai, drown in separate incidents. Calls for the beach to close must now be heeded.
Phuket 'Death Beach' Claims Two More in a Day

Phuket Drownings: How to Overcome Disasters
Phuketwan Opinion Everyone connected to Phuket's tourism industry needs to join in protecting tourists from drowning while on holiday at a world's best beach island destination.
Phuket Drownings: How to Overcome Disasters

Phuket Lifeguards Say 'Let's Close Karon Beach'
Latest Lifeguards are calling for the closure on danger days of one popular Phuket beach unless more improvements can be made to safeguard tourists who opt to swim despite warnings.
Phuket Lifeguards Say 'Let's Close Karon Beach'

Russian Tourist Drowns on Beach North of Phuket
Latest Another Russian tourist has drowned, latest to fall victim to the Andaman coast currents. It was the first day of his holiday, Phuketwan was told by Khao Lak police.
Russian Tourist Drowns on Beach North of Phuket


Comments have been disabled for this article.


please add to the warning: renting jet skis also can be hazardous to your health

Posted by john s on December 12, 2010 11:58


Notorious: not the beach... but the notorious lack of tourists not (wanting) to acknowledge such dangerous situations. More information and 'education' by all concerned parties (TAT, TA's, tourguides, hotels, local communities, embassies, etc.) could be the start to a real solution and prevent further incidents... instead of blaming Mother Nature. Michel

Posted by Michel on December 12, 2010 13:36

Editor Comment:

If the good resorts showed more effort in bringing into line the resorts that fail to understand what you say, that would help, too.


I almost feel like moving to Karon Beach next monsoon season, getting a jet-ski, and doing some lifesaving of my own...

Posted by Kevin on December 12, 2010 13:41


I fully support the three stage warning proposal and I'd certainly like to hear the excuses of any Karon business owner opposing the plan.

Posted by Chris on December 12, 2010 16:52


It's interesting that the lifeguards say they started putting red flags out at 9am but the body was pulled out at 920am. Were the flags up before they entered the water or is this a case of the lifesavers trying to cover their behinds??

Posted by Jimmy on December 13, 2010 08:18

Editor Comment:

The lifeguards start work at 9am. That's when they put out the flags. What's not known is whether, having been on the island for 11 days, the couple knew it was dangerous to swim, flags or not. When people pay for a beach holiday on Phuket in December (high season) they expect to be able to swim.


Kevin do it many people have done it over the years its very satisfying to be able to save a person. Also to be able to get boats off the beach before its to late.

Posted by Brian on December 24, 2010 17:22

Thursday April 18, 2024
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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