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Slashed Korean tourist Chulgue Kang lapsed into a coma yesterday

Phuket Tourist in Coma, Slashed by Boat Blade on Day Trip

Tuesday, November 13, 2012
UPDATE

Chulgue Kang had regained consciousness and appeared to be recovering on Tuesday, a hospital spokesperson said.

Original Report

PHUKET: A Korean tourist is in a coma in a Phuket hospital today after having been struck in the head by the propeller of a passing longtail boat yesterday at a popular holiday spot.

The condition of Chulgue Kang, 30, deteriorated from blood loss as a tour minivan rushed him and five friends back to Phuket after the incident in Phang Nga, north of Phuket.

The friends had been swimming at Tam Lord, between Panyee island and James Bond island, for about 20 minutes when the passing longtail boat slashed Mr Kang's head open.

The minivan carried him back to Phuket as his friends attempted to staunch the flow of blood, transferring him to an ambulance that happened to be in Thepkasattri Road and was willing to assist.

Mr Kang was taken to Phuket International Hospital in Phuket City.

Meanwhile, the body of a Frenchman killed by a passing boat while snorkelling off the holiday island of Koh Lipe in the province of Satun on Friday has been transferred to Prince of Songkhla Hospital in Haad Yai.

Vincent Therond, 33, had been staying with his wife on the island since November 2. On Friday, he chose to go snorkelling alone.

After a time, his wife noted his absence and found his body in the water. The left side of his head had been severely cut. So had one arm.

Embassy officials have asked for a detailed report on the extent of Mr Therond's wounds. His wife flew back to France alone at the weekend.

Comments

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Someday the authorities will have to start doing something about the increasing death tolls from long tails and speed boats which currently are operated with as much safety in mind as the minivan and taxi's are, which is to say none at all. Unfortunately action will come late for many, and sadly, like everything else, only with international pressure.

Posted by NomadJoe on November 13, 2012 02:04

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Why was the rescue chopper not launched to pick the victim up and who knows maybe save him from the massive blood loss that has led to his coma.

Posted by Scunner on November 13, 2012 08:30

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There is a Simple solution. Buoys !!
Like the rest of the modern world, create a boat only and swim only areas. Give the long tail boats a place to come and go and swimmers the rest.
Is this the 4th or 5th hit by a boat in 2012? How many have to die before they take action. One man suspended for the banana boat incident but I don't think one propeller strikes have been punished. The Russian guy that his leg was cut and need to be flown back. His assault I don't think was punished.

Why ? Is swimming an "at Your own Risk" thing in Phuket??
Can't they look at what the other parts of the world do for safety?

Posted by John on November 13, 2012 12:07

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@ John
"Can't they look at what the other parts of the world do for safety?"

As the editor is unable to reply but I am sure if bursting to do so, may I say:

Who is "they"?. Also - Clearly you have no understanding of the cultural differences and issues.

Posted by stu on November 13, 2012 13:43

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@stu: Spot on! 55555!

Posted by Buster on November 13, 2012 14:34

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As usual, no word from Marine Office 5 and if there later is, I'm sure this is just another "normal incident".

Yet another example of the fact that tourist safety simply is not a priority in Thailand.

Happy Holidays.

Posted by Andrew on November 13, 2012 14:38

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Thai culture is very relaxed and "freestyle" Therefore safety is not a priority. If Thailand had the same strict law enforcement in regards to drink and drive, marine licenses etc(they have most of the laws but do not enforce them) as the West then it would loose some of it's charm. You must also remember many of the Thai's on Phuket (I estimate around 90%) are not from Phuket and many were basic farmers before so are still adjusting. If you want a tropical holiday with stict law go somewhere like Queensland.

Posted by Happy Farang on November 13, 2012 15:49

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Happy for Khun Chulgue Kang to survive. Close call. Better to go to a local doc / hospital first to stop the bleeding before run to a Phuket hospital.

Best way I know:
Remember this tel.no.: 1719

That is Bangkok Hospital emergency contact 24/7 english spoken people, who also do give advice where to go in Krabi / Phang Nga first, until an ambulance from them will pick u up, if needed. (or use the no. from International, that I do not know) There are enough good docs who can stop a bleeding wound...

But keep that numbers handy.

Posted by Lena on November 13, 2012 16:34

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Before people get too upset, let's consider the fact that the area where this tourist was swimming is a heavy traffic boat zone, I've been there several times and can't imagine anybody going for a swim there?

Posted by christian on November 13, 2012 18:17

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At Karon today i saw a speedboat towing two people on a small rubber craft head straight for the crowd in the water only to turn away at the last minute so it could catapult the two into the crowd. The boat came within meters of the swimmers. I thought another tragedy was about to unfold .

Posted by carvets on November 14, 2012 00:11

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sick of this..!!!
From last here i will go for holiday to Vietnam much better, safe and fun

Posted by Maverick on November 14, 2012 15:28


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