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Russian Tourists Drowns at Karon Beach in Phuket, as Lifeguard Dispute Continues



Rescue workers attempt to revive Oleg Parshukov after the Russian was pulled from the sea off Karon Beach in Phuket. – Photo Achadtaya Chuenniran

PHUKET – A Russian man was pronounced dead at a hospital after he was brought ashore unconscious  off Karon beach in central district of Phuket on Sunday morning.

He was later identified as Oleg Parshukov, 42.

Parshukov was unconscious and not breathing when he was brought to the beach, he was taken by an emergency medical unit to Patong Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

An emergency unit was rushed to the beach after a marine safety unit of the navy was informed of the incident,  at about 10am.

On October 7th, a Chinese tourist drowned at the beach of Karon on Phuket island while there was no lifeguard on duty. Lifeguards were not at the scene because of a recent contract dispute between the city hall and the operators.

Lifeguards weren’t currently operating in Phuket, a tourist destination known for its beaches, because the operators would not accept a new contract with a slashed budget proposed by provincial authorities this year.

Guards said their budget has been gradually cut for years and would not be sufficient for a reliable service.

As they could not settle the issue, all operations of the Phuket Lifeguard Service were terminated on Sep. 30 after they oversaw safety over the island’s beaches for nearly a decade.

Cpl. Anusorn Jaikhaeng of Karon Police Station told the Khaosod News earlier this month that since the lifeguard contract was terminated, the provincial police command asked each police station to send off-duty officers to patrol the beaches in lieu of actual rescue workers.

Anusorn said such policy may not help much. Beaches in Phuket, such as the one at Karon, are long, and the guards have knowledge about dangerous swimming spots.

“In the past, the guards would know where the water is deep and where the current is strong,” the policeman said. “I don’t know why they don’t hire the guards anymore.”

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