High waves and a red flag warnings urging beachgoers in Phuket not to go swimming did not keep a Russian tourist from entering the water. He paid with his life.
Lifeguards at Phuket’s Karon Beach were summoned at 11:00 Sunday morning to rescue a foreigner who had drowned while swimming in the Andaman Sea. Third Naval Area Command Officers and additional rescuers rushed to save the tourist who was later identified as Sergey Medelin from Russia.
“When we arrived, we had difficulty in locating the man,” Phuket Lifeguard Club Chief, Uten Singsom said. “The waves were up to three metres high and the man was floating face down in the water so it was hard to spot him. Witnesses to the tragic accident said that Mr Medelin had gone swimming with his son despite seeing the red flags which are supposed to warn tourists of dangerous conditions. When lifeguards eventually pulled the man to the shore, he had already been unconscious for several minutes. Immediate resuscitation attempts could not save the life of the 51-year-old tourist was pronounced dead-on-arrival at Patong Hospital.
The victim’s son managed to swim back to the beach, but Mr Medelin found himself swept out to sea. Mr Singsom surmised, “Mr Medelin probably ran out of energy while trying to fight the current and eventually lost consciousness.”
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