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


Phuket's Karon beach: drown here and you may be left off the list

Six Phuket Expat Drownings, Deaths, Unrecorded

Wednesday, November 17, 2010
THREE drownings of tourists on Karon beach and one on neighboring Kata beach have gone unrecorded in police statistics that are intended to list every expat death on Phuket.

The deaths of two Australians have also gone unrecorded, making a total of at least six expat deaths unaccounted for on what is intended to be a complete list of all expat deaths so far on Phuket in 2010.

All six deaths fail to appear in a preliminary list of 67 expat deaths seen by Phuketwan in advance of the quarterly summit meeting of Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha with honorary consuls and embassy representatives.

The list, incomplete though it is, is due to be presented to as many as 22 national representatives and representatives of Thailand's Foreign Ministry at a meeting set for Monday. Two ambassadors from embassies in Bangkok may also be present.

Three of the deaths, all drownings at Karon and Kata, were also absent from a list presented to an earlier meeting in August. With these three drownings now increased to four - and all missing from the list - the wrong impression is being conveyed about the safety of Karon beach in the monsoon season.

Latest drowning victim to be left off the list of dead is Dimitry Kuznephov, 40, who drowned at Karon beach on November 8. A Thai man, Kittisak Klongpiled, 25, drowned at Karon beach on the same day.

The head of Phuket's lifeguard service has called for Karon beach to be closed to swimmers on dangerous days unless more intense measures are taken to protect the lives of swimmers.

But if deaths by drowning continue to go officially unrecorded, the call for improved safety measures loses its meaning and purpose.

The three drownings, previously reported by Phuketwan to be missing from an earlier expat death list, have yet to be added despite the three months that have passed since the omissions were first noted.

They are Rumanian Gheorghe Paulivc, who drowned at Karon on July 20; Bahraini Ali Abdulaziz Al Saeed, who drowned at Karon on August 8, and Chinese Zhao Dakun who drowned at neighboring Kata beach on the same Sunday afternoon.

Two other missing expat deaths take the total of unrecorded deaths to six. Not included on the list are Australians Stephen Lawton, 55, who collapsed and died in a Karon street on October 22, and Graham Nicholas Jackson, 54, who was found dead in a guesthouse room on October 2 after suffering a prolonged fever.

The new Australian Ambassador to Thailand, James Wise, is making his first official visit to Phuket later this week.

The omission of at least one drowning has also occurred on official figures. According to Phuket Public Health statistics, there were no drownings on or around Phuket in July - the only drowning-free month recorded recently.

However, Rumanian Gheorge Paulivc died in Bangkok Phuket Hospital after having been first taken from the sea off Karon beach to Patong Hospital in July.

Phuket's 67 expat deaths for the year so far - excluding the four drownings and the deaths of the two Australians plus possibly other deaths about which Phuketwan has no knowledge - are as follows:

Phuket Expat Deaths, August 15 to November 12

Adiano Mazza Italy heart attack on August 18 in Soi Nanai Patong
Keith Barrington Jones England of cancer on August 18 at Patong Hospital
Ms Vera Lovtsova Russia car mishap on August 26 at Tesco Lotus intersection
Josef Stefan Distler Germany chronic illness on August 15 at Patong Hospital
James William Bourke Australia drowning on September 1 in pool at Banthai Resort, Patong
Peter Vincenz Ullrich Switzerland in fall on September 7 at Patong guesthouse
Mai Wei Qiang China road mishap on August 30 in Phuket City
Brian Bibby England on October 13 overdose of drugs at Gallery Hotel, Patong
Lee Jae Yup South Korea on September 14 by hanging at Tina Hotel, Patong
Alexandr Chupin Russia drowning on October 17 at Surin beach
Herbert Sebastian Germany of chronic illness on October 14 at Phuket City
Agalonov Alexy Russia drowned on October 18 at Nai Thon beach
Joseph Edward Australia of heart attack on October 20 at West Guesthouse Patong
Markku Juhani Smatt Finland of heart attack October 27 in Patong Hopsital
Peter Williams US suicide on October 27 at apartment house in Phuket City
Leif Erik Sune Hedlund Sweden heart complaint on October 27 at Duangjit Resort Patong
Said Mutafa Kamal Indonesia on October 31 of stomach complaint at Thalang Hospital
Jon Kristian Seljeseth Norway jumped from apartment block on November 12 in Patong

Phuket Expat Deaths, January 1 to August 14

Barry Cutler Britain Fell down steps January 5 at home in Phuket City
No name male, nationality unknown found hanged January 6 in forest near Laem Ka Noi
Michael Malonzo Australia died January 15 in Siam Safari crash, Nakkerd Hill
Jean Hubert Doonay Belgium died January 24 Phuket Graceland of old age
Wolf Dieter Eugen Kbelheim Germany January 27 attacked with knife outside 7-Eleven
Richard Johnson US hanged February 5 at home in Rawai
Rudolf Ducke Germany February 7 road crash in Rawai
Lattner Ralf Germany February 8 heart attack at Patong
Gian Pietro Perone Italy February 10 heart attack in Patong
Gerhard Kurt Rodschinka Germany February 10 unknown cause at bungalow Rawai
Nathan Edward Australia February 14 Fall at Hilton Phuket Hilton Arcadia Resort, Karon
Apostolos Pentefountas Greece February 16 heart attack in Patong
Thetaz Dominique Sylvie Switzerland February 25 cancer at home in Patong
Tarmuji Indonesia February 26 road crash in Phuket City
Hoger Heiz Schunka Germany March 2 cause unknown at Happy House, Karon
Donald Michael Craig Canada March 7 of chronic illness at Ao Sane bungalow
Joselito Macabio Vilegas Philippines March 11 road crash at Cherng Talay
Sorensen Henrik Love Denmark March 13 heart attack at resort in Patong
Dino Costa Italy March 19 cause unknown at Kamala beach in a dinghy
William Mann Britain March 22 of chronic illness at home in Kathu
Lindehoseberg Sonia Sweden March 28 drowning at Kata beach
Ludex Novax Netherlands March 27 heart attack in hotel at Patong
Jean-Luc Boutot France March 27 of chronic illness at Rawai
Lars Evert Lennart Thor Sweden April 1 heart attack at Patong
Loh Ying Jie Singapore April 2 jet-ski collision at Patong
Rampanaux Jean Pascal Sweden April 13 heart attack at resort in Kamala
Simone Tenerello Italy April 17 struck with bottle by katoey in Patong
Mikka Olavialltonen Finland April 24 overdose of Viagra at guesthouse in Patong
John Grant Kerr New Zealand May 3 motorcycle crash in Patong
Sergei Poliakov Russia May 9 motorcycle crash in Patak Road Karon
Alexander Drobot Russia May 10 found in car, cause unknown at home in Rawai
Lee Kam Yum China May 10 in car crash, Cherng Talay
Frank Visakay American died May 11 after a fatal fall at home
Pierre Antoine Giovanelli Switzerland died May 12 of old age in Kamala
Kevin William Dean British died May 23 at Club Coconut Hotel of chronic illness
Giglberger Karl Wilfried Germany died May 25 at Patong Hospital, chronic illness
Marek Klein German May 26 drowned at Surin beach
Kennert Rode Svahan Swedish died May 26 at Nordic Guesthouse Karon, heart attack
(Ms) Gabriella Rosemarie Strand Swedish died May 29 at Loma Park restaurant, electric shock
Morris Shawn Anthony Australia died June 10, leapt from Baan Kanjana Guesthouse, Patong
(Ms) Rebecca Louise Callaghan British, drowned June 12 at Karon beach, died later at Patong Hospital
Migliorini Carlo Italian, died June 15, Patong Hospital, of chronic illness
Lionel Le Cossec French, died June 17, suicide by hanging at Kathu
David Kenneth Gowenlock Australia, died June 21, at Patong Hospital of chronic illness
Per Ola Eriksson Swedish, died June 19 at Kata Residence, Karon, of chronic illness
Jamie Thomas Thow Australia, died June 22 at BYD Lofts, Patong, of illness
Mark Edward Stevens British, died July 18 at Bowman Resort, Patong, leapt from building
Adam John Sutcliffe Australia, died August 1 in motorcycle crash, Patong Hill
Dashawn Longfellow American, died August 14 at Ya Nui Resort II, Rawai, murdered
Phuket Expat Criminal Charges: The Police List
Latest Honorary consul and embassy representatives meet next week with Phuket's Governor and island leaders to discuss how tourists and expat residents are treated, and how they behave.
Phuket Expat Criminal Charges: The Police List

Phuket Tourist's Fight With Intruder at Five-Star Resort Brings Killing Charge
Latest A Russian tourist has been charged over the death of a man described as a security guard who entered the man's room late one night at a five star Phuket resort.
Phuket Tourist's Fight With Intruder at Five-Star Resort Brings Killing Charge

Let Phuket Games Begin with Lightrail, 750m Baht
Latest Phuket is '80 percent certain' to have a lightrail service before the 2014 Asian Beach Games, with 750 million baht likely to be spent to bring 10 billion baht in dividends to Phuket.
Let Phuket Games Begin with Lightrail, 750m Baht

Phuket Loy Kratong Floats Many Boats
Romance Of Thailand's many festivals, one stands out for romance. It's the Loy Kratong celebration, scheduled this year for Sunday November 21. Go float your boat.
Phuket Loy Kratong Floats Many Boats


Comments have been disabled for this article.


Thanks Phuketwan for keeping this in the public eye.
One wonders if the deaths going unrecorded is just an oversight, or part of a strategy to keep tourist deaths hidden. (That was certainly the case immediately after the tsunami for a while)

If it's the former, then are there other deaths that even Phuketwan missed? If it's the latter then that's a more serious worry.
I'm hoping it's merely bureaucratic incompetence............
Questions need to be asked, and I'm sure the Consular staff will be asking some forthright questions at their regular meetings with the Phuket 'parliament'.

Posted by Mr Man on November 18, 2010 06:38


There are at least two more unrecorded deaths this year, both were reported from the hotels to local authorities and respective embassies. It shouldn't be that difficult in our computer age to record at least the death cases properly.

Posted by Anonymous on November 18, 2010 18:48


I don't mean to be picky and I know this has been mentioned before but would it be so difficult to use the distinction between ex-pat and tourist ? Someone on a 2 week holiday is not a ex-pat.

Sorry to be a pedant but as a native English speaker seeing this error time after time in otherwise decent reporting does become quite wearing. : )

Posted by seamus on November 30, 2010 10:11

Editor Comment:

Sorry, but we've explained the rationale for our thinking. It's not an error, it's just a matter of style. As you know, it's a living language. Definitions change.

We are specific where we can be, but we treat passport holders as an entity, and that entity is ''expats''. There is no way of telling from a list of dead people which ones are ''expat residents'' and which are ''expat tourists.'' Police don't draw that distinction, nor do honorary consuls and embassies, so what you are asking is impossible to achieve, even if we agreed. Best to let the language live.


ist das normal ,das so viele Leute wg.Herzinfarkt in Patong sterben??

is it normal that so many people die in Patong wg.Herzinfarkt??

Posted by Anonymous on December 21, 2010 03:34

Editor Comment:

People will die, even in a holiday paradise. Some of the deaths occur among people who attempt activities on holiday that they are not used to doing at home. The numbers are not excessive or a cause for great alarm, although there are some needless drownings.

Monday October 2, 2023
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


Facebook Twitter