LIFEGUARDS accompanied a Russian woman to Patong Hospital this afternoon and identified the man as her husband, Alexey Tsymbalyuk, 45. The couple had been staying at the Thara Patong Beach Resort and Spa.
PHUKET: Authorities are keen to learn the identity of a Western man whose body washed ashore at Patong beach this afternoon.
The man, dressed in a skimpy striped black swimming costume, looked to be perhaps aged in his 30s.
Lifeguards first spotted the body offshore about 1pm and brought it to the beach outside the Impiana Resort and Spa.
Kusoldharm Foundation paramedics took the man's body to Patong Hospital.
A growing number of tourists have drowned on Phuket's popular west coast holiday beaches this year.
Currents known as ''rips'' develop during the low season especially and have been responsible for more than 20 drownings already this year.
Lifeguards say they are powerless to cover the entire shore and need the help of resorts and local authorities to warn visitors about the dangers.
The British Embassy and Phuket Governor Maitree Intrusud are supporting a water safety summit, scheduled for Phuket in October.
Precise figures on the number of drownings on Phuket have become unavailable since the Phuket health department ceased issuing monthly statistics in April last year.
Chinese and European Union ambassadors have called for improvements in marine safety standards on Phuket.
The growing number of arrivals has meant more people are coming to Phuket from countries without knowledge of beaches or swimming precautions.