Sunday, June 7, 2009

Phuket holidaymakers die in freak wave accidents

Giant waves off Thai coast drag British tourist to his death

Published Date: 08 June 2009
A BRITISH tourist has died after giant waves dragged him out to sea off the coast of Thailand.
The man became the third holidaymaker in two days to die off the island of Phuket.

James Henry Paton, 21, drowned when a freak wave, which police described as three metres high, trapped him, his girlfriend and two other Britons, and took them out to sea on Saturday.

Two British men and Mr Paton's 21-year-old girlfriend, who is four months pregnant, were rescued but Mr Paton's body was found a kilometre off shore.

A day earlier a Frenchman and his Thai girlfriend died in the same way. And two days before, an Australian family was rescued.

Police say there were red flags up along Karon beach warning tourists not to swim.

Police Colonel Chanat Sutima said: "It is dangerous to go swimming in the rainy season because of the undertows, but many tourists do not realise that."

British Embassy officials are organising the return of Mr Paton's body to the UK. It was not known last night where in the UK he came from.

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