Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thailand: Update on Missing Arizona State University Student, 21, Confirmed Drowning

As a follow-up to yesterday's posting, the body of Arizona State University student Joshua Stone, 21, was found today (June 14), after Stone disappeared while swimming at night off of a Patong beach in Phuket on Tuesday night (June 12). 

Our condolences and sympathies goes out to Mr. Stone's and the ASU community.

COMMENT: Six people have died on Phuket's west coast beaches since May 18, when a Frenchman drowned at Karon beach, south of Patong. His death was followed by the drowning of a second Frenchman at Freedom Beach, between Patong and Karon, on May 20. A Russian tourist drowned in the surf at Karon on May 30. On June 2, a young Thai man drowned at Patong. Lifeguards managed to rescue his swimming companion.

Many of the drownings described above stem from dangerous "rips,"  deadly currents that develop as the south west Monsoon dwells over Phuket. 

Unfortunately, some of these currents remain in Phuket waters year-round, while others are identified by local lifeguards with red-flag designations, urging swimmers to avoid the area.

Tourists and travelers who are new to beach areas worldwide should always ask local first responders, lifeguards and Marine police whether waters are safe to swim in before venturing into the water.