Press "Enter" to skip to content

Tragic Drownings in Phuket: James Newman and Waranya’s Untimely Demise on Mai Khao Beach

Order Cannabis Online Order Cannabis Online

A somber scene unfolded on Mai Khao beach in Thalang district, Phuket, as a man gazed at one of two tragic discoveries on Monday. The bodies of an American citizen and a Thai woman had washed ashore, casting a pall over the usually serene landscape.

According to Pol Lt Col Ranaphoum Permpoon, the chief investigator at the Tha Chatchai police station, local residents raised the alarm after finding the bodies on the beach. The male victim was identified as 45-year-old James Newman from the United States, while the female victim was named Waranya, a 49-year-old nurse from Surin. The connection between the two remains unclear as the officer withheld further details regarding their relationship.

Intriguingly, investigators found no signs of foul play. Instead, it appears to be a tragic accident. Both Newman and Waranya had checked into a hotel on Mai Khao beach the previous day. Preliminary findings suggest they were swimming when one was caught in a powerful current; the other likely tried—and sadly failed—to rescue them.

The bodies have been sent to Vachira Phuket Hospital for autopsies, which should provide more insight into the exact causes of their untimely deaths. This unfortunate incident makes Newman the second American to drown off Phuket’s shores in a span of less than two weeks. Just last Tuesday, James Du Bois met a similar fate at Nai Harn beach in Muang district.

In a separate incident, the relentless waves claimed another victim over the weekend. Apostolov Aleksei, a 64-year-old Russian man, drowned off Surin beach in Thalang. Pol Lt Kittipong Kongkaew, the deputy chief investigator at Thalang police station, confirmed that there were no signs of violence on Aleksei’s body. He had been residing in a local condominium before tragedy struck. His body, too, was sent to Vachira Phuket Hospital.

Lifeguards in Phuket have been working tirelessly to keep beachgoers safe. With the seas becoming increasingly treacherous, they have hoisted red flags on beaches deemed unsafe for swimming. These flags serve as stark warnings, urging visitors to exercise extreme caution and respect the power of the ocean.

As this story unfolds, it serves as a poignant reminder of the sea’s unpredictable nature. The allure of Phuket’s beautiful beaches can sometimes mask the underlying dangers. The local community continues to mourn the loss of these lives, while authorities strive to ensure that such tragedies are avoided in the future.


  1. Andy74 June 17, 2024

    This is so tragic. My heart goes out to the families of James and Waranya. Phuket really needs to focus more on beach safety.

    • Samantha L. June 17, 2024

      Totally agree, Andy. More lifeguards and better warning systems could save lives. It’s shocking how frequent these incidents are becoming.

      • Andy74 June 17, 2024

        Yes, Samantha. It’s not just about having lifeguards but ensuring tourists are educated about ocean safety before they even step on the beach.

  2. JamesKing34 June 17, 2024

    Maybe tourists should just be more responsible. It’s not always the local authorities who are at fault.

    • Mariana D. June 17, 2024

      That’s harsh. People go on vacation to relax, and they might not always be aware of how dangerous the ocean can be.

      • JamesKing34 June 17, 2024

        Vacation or not, common sense should still apply. If there are red flags, don’t swim.

      • Greg M. June 17, 2024

        It’s easy to blame tourists, but sometimes the warnings aren’t as prominent or clear as they should be.

    • Diana Rogers June 17, 2024

      Both sides need to be more careful. Tourists need to heed warnings and local authorities need to ensure warnings are unmistakable.

  3. Thaisoul June 17, 2024

    This story is heartbreaking. Why aren’t there more stringent regulations for beach safety?

    • Ploy June 17, 2024

      I’m from Phuket and believe me, the local government does a lot. Sometimes it’s just impossible to prevent every tragedy.

      • Ana P. June 17, 2024

        Thank you for sharing your perspective, Ploy. It’s important to hear from locals. Are there any specific measures you think could improve tourist safety?

  4. Tom H. June 17, 2024

    Do we know if alcohol was involved? It often is in these cases.

  5. coconutlover12 June 17, 2024

    This is just fear-mongering. I’ve been to Phuket several times, and it’s perfectly safe if you follow the rules.

    • Julie A. June 17, 2024

      Safety is relative. Just because you were lucky doesn’t mean everyone will be.

      • coconutlover12 June 17, 2024

        Not about luck. It’s about common sense. Don’t swim if there are warnings.

  6. Dr. Kim June 17, 2024

    Perhaps a swimming test for tourists should be mandatory. If you can’t swim, you should be restricted to certain swimming zones.

  7. TravelGuy88 June 17, 2024

    I agree with Dr. Kim. It’s not just about lifeguards or signs. Some people just shouldn’t be in the water.

  8. Isabella June 17, 2024

    This is so sad. It’s frightening how dangerous the ocean can be, even for experienced swimmers.

  9. MaxW June 17, 2024

    Every beach I’ve ever visited had signs warning about rip currents, but people ignore them. It’s tragic but preventable.

  10. Lilly G. June 17, 2024

    This is one reason I always stay by the pool. The ocean is just too unpredictable.

    • Jack J. June 17, 2024

      The pool is no guarantee of safety either. Accidents can happen anywhere.

  11. Eco_Warrior June 17, 2024

    Phuket’s beaches are becoming over-touristed. Maybe we need to look at the bigger picture of sustainable tourism.

    • GreenMe June 17, 2024

      Absolutely, sustainable tourism could reduce overcrowding and make beaches safer for everyone.

      • Eco_Warrior June 17, 2024

        Agreed. Sustainable tourism isn’t just good for the environment, but also for community safety.

  12. Sunny D. June 17, 2024

    I was at Phuket last year and the lifeguards were very diligent. Accidents just happen sometimes.

  13. Luke P. June 17, 2024

    It’s all about respect. Respect the ocean, respect the warnings.

  14. Order Cannabis Online Order Cannabis Online

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More from ThailandMore posts in Thailand »