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French Woman Killed by Speedboat Propeller in Phuket

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The captain fled to Phuket after his speedboat propeller struck and killed French tourist Sylvie Thietau. Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub

The captain fled to Phuket after his speedboat propeller struck and killed French tourist Sylvie Thietau. Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub

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PHUKET – A speedboat struck and instantly killed French French tourist Sylvie Thietau, while she was swimming in waters reserved for snorkelers at a Thai resort, police said today.

Sylvie Thietau, 52, died at the scene Tuesday afternoon after the boat struck her as she was snorkeling off Poda island, one of several small islands in the tourist hot-spot of Krabi province.

Police arrested the speedboat’s 29-year-old driver, Yothin Subsak, and charged him with causing death by a reckless action.

“He confessed to the charges,” Krabi’s tourist police commander Lieutenant Colonel Man Rotthong told AFP.

“The victim and her husband stayed in nearby Phuket and she bought a diving package here,” he added.

Tourism is a key source of revenue for Thailand, which received nearly 30 million foreign visitors in 2015, contributing to a third of GDP.

Accidents involving tourists are common in a country where safety regulations are often weakly enforced.

A bus crash before Christmas killed 13 Malaysian tourists in northern Thailand.

The country has the second highest rate of road accident deaths in the world, according to the World Health Organization.

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