Fears rise as 49-year-old James Everett DuBois, swept out to sea on Sunday, is presumed drowned after a frantic three-hour search by divers and rescuers off the picturesque Nai Harn Beach in Phuket.

Fears are rising that a 49-year-old American swept out to sea on Sunday, has drowned. On Sunday evening, after three hours of a search off the picturesque and tranquil Nai Harn Beach in Rawai, divers and rescuers failed to sight James Everett DuBois who had been swimming with his family when tragedy struck at approximately 4:50 pm.

Divers from the Kusoldham Foundation stood down on Sunday after 8:10 pm. The missing American, James Everett DuBois, was swept out to sea at approximately 4:50 pm. Lifeguards managed to save his three-and-a-half-year-old son, Boonpat. (Source: Chalong Police and Kusoldham Foundation).

Thai divers and rescuers in Phuket spent three hours on Sunday searching desperately for an American swept out to sea.

The volunteers with the Kusoldham Foundation responded to requests from Chalong Police Station when the alarm was raised just before 5 pm.

On Sunday, the 9th, at 4:50 pm, approximately, 49-year-old James Everett DuBois was swimming with his family at Nai Harn Beach.

US man was swimming with his three-and-a-half-year-old son and Thai wife when the current changed amid heavy winds and choppy waters sweeping him away

He was accompanied by his Thai 49-year-old wife Siriamon and son Boonpat. The boy was reportedly three and a half years old.

The weather on the beach was blustery with strong winds.

Certainly, there was also a lifeguard present. However, unlike other nearby beaches which flew a red flag, the flag flown was yellow.

This indicated that swimming was allowed but those entering the water should be cautious.

At length, the trio encountered difficulties as the waves gathered and abruptly changed direction. In short, they were pulled out to sea. Previously, the family had been swimming approximately 10 metres from the shore.

Afterwards, rescuers told reporters that waves as high as 3 metres were seen offshore.

Following that, the lifeguards sprang into action. The Thai woman managed to extricate herself from the water and its dangerous currents.

The lifeguards were able to reach Boonpat and drag him to shore. However, the American man was taken by the waves.

Alarm was raised and rescue teams of divers and seacraft were deployed in the water in a frantic effort to locate the swept away 49-year-old American man

Afterwards, the alarm was raised and a large team of divers arrived with seacraft, including jet skis. Following just over three hours of searching, no trace of the US man was found.

At this time, he is presumed to have drowned.

The search was called off at 8:10 pm due to poor light and deteriorating conditions.

In response to the incident, Rawai officials attended the scene. There also were extended family members of the US man, including his Thai wife, her parents, and some children.

The Mayor of Rawai Subdistrict, Mr Arun Soros, was joined by Deputy Mayor Nikorn Papakityotphat.

Mayor of Rawai questions why a red flag was not flown at the beach prohibiting swimming due to the treacherous conditions including tides and winds

Mr Arun told reporters that the direction of waves at Nai Harn Beach changes all the time.

He pointed out that other beaches in the vicinity had red flags up. In effect, swimmers were not permitted to enter the water.

20-year-old Burmese man drowned after ignoring a Red Flag warning on a Phuket beach last Sunday
Fears for Russian tourist, a top business executive, gone missing from Naithon Beach in Phuket

Nonetheless, it is quite common for swimmers to defy these warnings.

On Sunday, May 5th, a 20-year-old Burmese man drowned off Kalim Beach in Phuket.

In brief, he and his friends had been enjoying a day off. Despite a red flag, they entered the waters and encountered a strong current which swept the young man away.

The beautiful beaches of Phuket are notoriously dangerous because of these unpredictable currents.

It is caused by westerly winds blowing offshore. In turn, this causes riptides to develop. At the same time, it is particularly prevalent at this time of year during the low tourist season.

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