Rip tides have claimed the lives of two tourists in separate incidents off the Koh Chang beaches in the last week.
A 19 year old British tourist died from drowning after going swimming off White Sand Beach early on Sunday morning, 14th August. Later named as Bryony Freestone, a student at Exeter University, she was found unconscious at the northern end of the beach near KC Grande Resort.
Koh Chang local volunteers attempted to resuscitate her at the scene, before she was transferred to Koh Chang International Clinic, where doctors tried unsuccessfully for two hours to save her life.
The body of the student, who had arrived on Koh Chang only the day before, has been sent to the British Embassy in Bangkok for autopsy. A British Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are supporting the family of a British National who sadly died in Thailand on 14 August.”
This drowning follows the death the previous day, Saturday 13th August, of a German tourist, who perished off Klong Prao Beach. Concerned that his two sons had strayed too far into the sea, 55 year old Christoph Ralf Sigloch entered the water to shepherd them back to shore, when he too got into dificulties due to the stong waves. Despite volunteer rescue attempts back on the beach, he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Authorities have warned again of the danger of rip tides or rip currents in the seas off Koh Chang and asked tourists to be especially vigilant. The international signage of red flags are posted on all beaches as a warning when conditions are dangerous and visitors are urged to pay attention to them. Local business owners and residents too repeatedly stress the need for extreme care when taking to the water at this time of year, the rainy season in Thailand, which runs from May to October.