CHIANGRAI TIMES – On Tuesday at Patong Beach in Phuket Thailand when two members of an Arizona State University group were swimming very far out and started struggling. Joshua Shane, 21, and two other students got into the water and swam out to save them, but the surf pulled him under. Shane was the only one who didn’t make it back to shore.
Police in Thailand recovered Shane’s body when it washed ashore Thursday afternoon local time. Phuket is 14 hours ahead of Arizona.
Thai investigators said a teacher accompanying the students confirmed his identity and that Shane was wearing the same shorts and T-shirt as when he was last seen.
A local paper in Phuket posted photos of the beach and missing posters were spread out across the area, but search efforts had stalled. On Wednesday, before Shane’s body had been recovered, Arizona State University announced that he was presumed drowned, all in an effort to save others.
Shane was majoring in sustainability, and the four-week long Thailand trip was to make suggestions for sustainable transportation. His family lives in Olathe, Kan. and released the following statement.
“Joshua is a beautiful soul and was truly at his best while traveling and exploring. He was passionate about international social justice and global sustainability. He was here to make the world a better place. We will continue to be inspired by Joshua’s life and appreciate the outpouring of support and prayer.”
Arizona State University said it is providing counseling for faculty and students who are on the trip, as well as Shane’s friends on campus.
The group was scheduled to return June 19. It’s not clear if this tragedy will lead to an earlier arrival.