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''Nikolai'' being treated by rescuers at the base of the Phuket cliff last night

UPDATE Russian Man Survives Death Defying Plunge in Car from Phuket Clifftop Lookout

Friday, December 19, 2014
UPDATING All Day, Every Day

A FISHERMAN helped free Russian Nikollay Onopreinko, 29, from the car. He is in a Phuket hospital with head damage and unable yet to speak. Police say it was an accident.

Original Report

PHUKET: A Russian man who drove a car into the sea from a clifftop tourist lookout on Phuket was rescued last night on rocks off the holiday island's coast.

The dramatic 250-metre plunge downhill by the Honda Jazz came about 11.30pm from Pa Dang, the site of Phuket's only wind-power turbine and a popular leaping spot for paragliders.

Investigators are waiting for the Russian man, known only as ''Nikolai,'' to recover so they can question whether he drove off the road by chance or intended to kill himself.

''It's amazing that this man survived,'' a policeman told Phuketwan ''It's a long drop down the hill into the sea.''

Kusoldharm Phuket Foundation rescuers and local council officers took two dinghies out about 11.30pm last night and found ''Nikolai'' in bad condition on a rocky outcrop, but alive.

A fisherman saw and heard the car's plunge and made a call for help.

Airbags deployed as the car hit the water, the rescuers said.

Doctors at Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket City said the Russian's injuries were remarkably slight considering the height of the car's plunge and his need to then escape the vehicle.

Divers probed the inside of the Honda but could find no signs that anyone else was in the hired car. It's not clear yet whether ''Nikolai'' was a tourist who misjudged the path down from the wind turbine or an expat down on his luck.

He was living in Suksan Soi 2, in the southern Phuket district of Rawai, and is thought to have reached the wind turbine last night from the direction of Patong.

Comments

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I hope it was a drivers error, but with the way the world is today, most Russians just lost 50% of their wealth which could lead to many problems, while they are here.

Posted by Tbs on December 19, 2014 10:06

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There is no way I would be up there at night. A very narrow road and a sheer drop. Incredible he survived the car must of hit the water nose first triggering the airbags and braking the fall to an extent but it must be 100m drop at least. The odds of surviving....anyway whatever the reason he has a second chance.

Posted by Feisty Farang on December 19, 2014 10:49

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Rouble is falling at alarming speed....

Posted by Whistle-Blower on December 19, 2014 13:15

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Completely agree TBS. If I were Russian I would not be so inclined to return to -20 weather right now especially with the economy in the dumper. Immigration should really be on the lookout for Russian over stayers. Especially considering that the over stayers will not be the best that Russia has to offer.

Posted by earmuffs on December 19, 2014 13:18

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Relax, sometimes we do crazy things, but usually without hurting the local population :)

Posted by Vladimir on December 19, 2014 13:31

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TBS, I see your point, but most Russians I know are a bit more strong willed than to let money issues get them down to the point of suicide. But on the other hand, how can the police be so sure it wasn't suicide in this case when they said that he's unable to speak. Guess we're just going to have to wait until he recovers and is able to tell his own story.

Posted by Doanld Jackson on December 19, 2014 15:01

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Unbelievably lucky guy. 250 meter plunge & then someone on hand to quickly rescue him. When the Gods are on your side ...!

Posted by Logic on December 19, 2014 15:10

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Donald Jackson

Russia has one of the highest, if not THE highest suicide rate in the world. Also, the police is not sure about anything, as stated in the article they don't know if it was an accident or a suicide attempt.

Posted by christian on December 20, 2014 07:23

Editor Comment:

The update says that police determined it was an accident.


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