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Racha's main beach, where the Chinese tourist died yesterday

Phuket Tourist Drowns on Day Trip to Racha Island

Friday, May 3, 2013
PHUKET: A Chinese tourist drowned yesterday off a beach at Racha island, south of Phuket, when he went for a swim soon after lunch.

Zhang Zhang, 27, had gone with four friends in a tour group of about 40 to the popular day-trip diving and snorkelling island, south of Phuket.

Officers from Chalong Police Station said that a tour guide had advised the group not to go swimming too soon after lunch.

Zhang Zhang's friends noticed him missing and began a search along Ao Tawan Tok, a beautiful bay where the sea is usually tranquil.

His body was found floating about an hour after the search began. Efforts to revive him failed.

His body was brought back by speedboat and is now at Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket City.

Mr Zhang and his friends arrived on Phuket on April 29. They had been staying in Patong and were due to fly home today.

Officials at the Chinese consulate in Songkhla, which oversees the welfare of the increasing number of Chinese tourists visiting Phuket, says many are not familiar with the sea.

''Most do not understand even the rudimentary skills involved in using a snorkel and mask,'' an official said.

''The more they can be briefed about dangers in the water and how to survive, the better.''

Chinese visitors to Thailand are reported to have almost doubled year-on-year in the first three months of 2013, with four million expected for the whole year.

Many of those will try Phuket and be experiencing a beach destination for the first time.

Comments

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There's no medical or physiological reason whatsoever not to swim after a meal. It's just a silly urban legend.

The fact that the tour guide gave such useless advice is quite revealing.

Any tour guide taking customers for a snorkeling trip should at least be a certified Dive Master.

How many of the tour guides taking customers on boat excursions can even swim ?

How many have adequate First Aid skills ?

What measures has the association taken to ensure safety of their customers ?

I would like to hear what Khun Jai Foo Saelee from the tour guide association has to say to all this.

Posted by Stephen on May 3, 2013 14:04

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Here is a good reason to have guides that speak the language of the tourists

totally agree with stephen about first aid skills and basic lifeguard skills

I know in John Grays sea canoe we used to teach that to all guides

Posted by Michael on May 3, 2013 18:00

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Do note previous article tour guides whom speak Chinese protest the education standard is too high to pass
im sure Zhang Zhang if available would have a few protests, its so hard to believe the tour guide/s didnt even have the swimmers under observation
never be deceived by mill pond conditions I extracted a girl once from such a scenario I got the lesson in hindsight ,she survived simply because swimmers were under observation!

Posted by slickmelb on May 3, 2013 22:28

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Another sad story & I hope this isn't to be a similar period to last year when quite a few drowned in a short time. Close observation by guides & lifeguards can only help, but I fear that many Chinese in particular have not learnt to swim if previous articles are anything to go by. You can't stop them swimming as they'll probably pretend they can so observation must be the next best thing in my opinion.

Posted by Anonymous on May 4, 2013 12:58

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40 people - how many tour guides ? Even a ratio of 10 : 1 would make it hard to control the group. Though it is not mentioned if the dead person was able to swim, a responsible tour guide never would people let go in water too deep to stand in, if they can't swim.

Posted by Resident on May 4, 2013 20:33


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