Another UK family seeks GoFundMe support to repatriate the remains of Simon Brown, a popular Welsh man, from Thailand. Found unresponsive in a Thai hotel, details of his death are unclear. The family aims to raise £10,000 for the costly process.

Another bereft family in the United Kingdom on Wednesday launched a GoFundMe appeal to repatriate the remains of a loved one. This time, it was the family of popular Welsh man Simon Brown, or ‘Browny,’ a machinist who liked to travel regularly to Thailand. It is understood that Mr Brown’s body was found unresponsive in a Thai hotel bedroom last Saturday, May 11th. However, details of his death in Thailand are sketchy at this time. His GoFundMe appeal at the same time says the family learned of his death two days earlier on May 9th.

Simon Brown was a machinist hailing from the Trallwn district of Pontypridd in Wales. The popular machinist was known to friends and many people in Swansea as ‘Browny’. His shock death in Thailand this week has prompted a fundraising effort to return his remains home.

On Wednesday, another UK family was forced to turn to a GoFundMe account to repatriate the remains of a loved one from Thailand to the United Kingdom.

The latest sad story related to 47-year-old Simon Brown, popularly known in Swansea, Wales, as ‘Browny’. Brown originally hailed from the Trallwn area of Pontypridd, a large town about 10 miles north of Cardiff, the Welsh capital.

No confirmation of exactly where in Thailand the Welsh man died although it is understood a police investigation is underway. No police press briefing

However, reports of Mr Brown’s death in Thailand at this time are sketchy. For instance, there is no police report or confirmation. Neither do we know where in the kingdom the man died.

There are reports that a police investigation is underway into the death of Mr Brown. However, there has been no media briefing.

Certainly, we are told in some reports that Mr Brown was found unresponsive in his Thai hotel bedroom on Saturday, May 11th. However, the GoFundMe fundraising posted by Camron Griffiths says that his family first learned of his death on Thursday, May 9th.

You can donate to the appeal on the following link:

Donate to the Simon Brown repatriation from Thailand appeal here (Click)

At this time, his desperate family is trying to raise £10,000 to repatriate his remains. The response has been extremely encouraging, with over £2,360 already received. One donor, Mr M. Williams, alone donated £500.

Regular UK visitor and fan of Thailand was a machinist back home in Wales. He was known popularly in Swansea as ‘Browny’ to friends and all who knew him

Mr Brown was a machine operator at home in Wales whose passion was foreign travel, particularly to Thailand. In short, he was a regular visitor to the kingdom and an avid fan.

His friend Mark Davies told reporters that his family was in ‘total shock and sadness’ after hearing of his death.

When asked about how his friend had died in Thailand and where, Mr Davies said he did not know.

‘He was a really hard worker as a machine operator, and when he wasn’t working, he was always on holiday. In particular, he loved going to Thailand. We don’t know anything at the moment as to the circumstances around it. It only happened on Saturday, so we know very little,’ he explained.

Top tourist hotspots in Thailand for visitors include Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Hua Hin, Krabi, Ko Samui and Chiang Mai.

Massive burden placed on already grieving family

The fundraising appeal explains the family’s plight and trauma at trying to repatriate their loved one’s remains.

‘Simon passed away in Thailand, a place he loved to visit regularly and often went several times a year. As a family, we are now trying to bring Simon back home so that we can lay him to rest at his home in Swansea. Unfortunately, in order to bring Browny home, we now have to arrange transport from Thailand to the UK, which is a costly process. We are asking all those who knew and loved Browny to help us bring him back home.’

This is now becoming a familiar story with similar appeals being published at regular intervals relating to stricken families all over the United Kingdom.

The UK ambassador visited Phuket on May 7th to strengthen relations with provincial authorities. He was briefed on safety for tourists on the holiday island

Between 550 and 600 UK nationals die in Thailand every year. At the same time, British people are recognized by authorities in the kingdom for generally being relatively law-abiding.

However, there are frequent cases of drownings or motorbike accidents.

These were discussed with the UK Ambassador to Thailand, Mark Gooding, on a recent trip to Phuket, the country’s top tourist destination. The UK envoy visited the holiday island on Tuesday, May 7th.

In Phuket, Mr Gooding met Governor Sophon Suwannarat. The purpose of the visit was to strengthen relations with the provincial authorities.

20-year-old Burmese man drowned after ignoring a Red Flag warning on a Phuket beach last Sunday

However, the Phuket Governor briefed the ambassador on safety protocols being updated on the island. He referred to the island’s lifeguard service on beaches as well as a campaign to tighten up on motorbike safety.

Some provision must be made for this clear need  

Many in the tourism industry blame the current predicament on the failure of the Thai government to introduce automatic insurance coverage for all tourists.

Undeniably, press coverage associated with such appeals is bad news for Thailand. The need for some provision is obvious. The alternative is endless international press coverage in key tourist markets.

For instance, the United Kingdom was Phuket’s fourth most important market for arrivals in 2023.

In December 2023, this was agreed upon by the Thai cabinet as part of a ฿300 tourist levy. However, it was subsequently pushed aside on advice from officials at the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.

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Undoubtedly, these continuous funding appeals create a disturbing message about holidaying in Thailand.

Certainly, this may be somewhat unfair given that the kingdom is projected to receive up to 37 million tourists in 2024.

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Further reading:

Death of loyal Doncaster Rovers fan in Thailand leaves UK family in turmoil seeking the return of his remains

Time for dithering on tourist insurance to stop as PM orders universal coverage for all visitors to Thailand

Irish man’s family turn to media when confronted with a ฿6.6 million medical bill to save tourist’s life

Tragic death of a Taiwanese tourist is another wake-up call for the government on insurance cover

66-year-old Thai woman highlights Thailand’s official tiered pricing in hospitals for foreigners

Another black eye for Thai tourism with sick UK man’s ‘horrific’ plight in Phuket exposed on world’s media

Tourist levy hits further turbulence with fears it could harm airline’s effort to boost flight numbers

Negative reaction and horror at Thailand’s plan to charge foreigners more than locals at hotels

Mass tourism to return again in 2021 with 10 million visitors targeted and full insurance cover with arrival levy

Thailand could introduce tourist tax or levy next year as expert group begins to examine plans

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