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Tourists Killed in Deadly Rip Currents at Phuket Beach

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Tourists Killed in Deadly Rip Currents at Phuket Beach

Two tourists drowned at Kata Noi Beach in Phuket on Thursday – a British honeymooner and a Thai man, also on holiday, who tried to save him.

The first victim was Ali Mian, 34, who arrived in Thailand from the UK with his new wife on July 9. They checked in at the Katathani hotel in Phuket on Tuesday.

The second drowning victim was Mr. Surasit Ponglaohaphan, 55, who tried to save Mr. Ali. On Thursday, he checked in with his wife and son at the same hotel.

Phuket tourist police said the double tragedy happened at Phuket’s Kata Noi beach at about 5pm on Thursday. The tragedy happened shortly after lifeguards had warned tourists not to swim there because of the strong waves and rip tides.

Red flags were also erected along the 850-metre beach, warning against swimming in the substantial seas.

Ali disregarded the warnings and went swimming anyway, getting into difficulties first. Mr. Surasit, who was swimming nearby, tried to help him. Tragically, both men drowned in the strong rip tides.

Lifeguards rescued both men, and their bodies were taken to Chalong Hospital.

Deadly Rip Current in Phuket

On Thursday, five other tourists were rescued from the sea off Kata and Patong beaches.

Rip currents are strong, narrow seaward flowing currents, like ‘rivers of the sea’, that exist on many beaches when waves break across wide areas.

Beach-related drownings are caused primarily by these potentially deadly rip currents, which are also a major cause of lifeguard beach rescues.

During the monsoon season, from May to November, there are numerous rip currents on Phuket’s beaches, and many people, mostly tourists, have drowned.

According to studies, more than two-thirds of beachgoers cannot identify what rip currents look like.

The number is much higher in Phuket because of the high transient tourist population.