Chinese tourist latest to drown at Koh Racha Yai

A YOUNG Chinese man became the latest tourist to drown in the sea off Koh Racha Yai island near Phuket with such deaths occurring here every month because there are no lifeguards around, reported this morning (August 20, 2018).

Mr Zhang Guojun, 32, went swimming and snorkeling in the rough sea without wearing a life-jacket yesterday, even though tour operators warned him not to do so, and disappeared in the sea.

Staff at The Racha Hotel brought him back to the beach and tried to revive him with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), with his distressed relatives and other tourists who came together on a day trip here looking on.

Tour operators and hoteliers on the island said tourists who snorkel off Patok beach without having rested enough drown here every month.

A key reason is that local authorities have not yet posted lifeguards on this beach despite tour operators having urged them to do so for a decade now because tourists do not always listen to their warnings.

Everyday around 2,500 to 3,000 tourists sail to this island on a day trip and around 500 to 1,000 stay overnight. A key attraction is the beautiful corals at both shallow and deep waters off this beach.

Tour operators said official lifeguards are urgently need because while themselves try to save the lives of drowning tourists, they do not have the required equipment. Moreover illegal tour operators do not even warn the tourists.


Top: The Racha Hotel staff bring the body of the drowned tourist back to the beach. Photo: