The death of an 18-year-old tourist on Wednesday at the popular Thai tourist destination of Phuket Island has brought the total number of Chinese drowning deaths in the country this year to 74.
The body of the unnamed tourist was recovered Wednesday morning after he was pulled away from the shore by the tide Tuesday evening. Three other Chinese tourists were also saved in the area that evening by Thai lifeguards, the local rescue team was quoted by China Central Television (CCTV) as saying.
Data from the Thai Ministry of Tourism and Sports shows that the latest death brings to total number of Chinese who have died of drowning while on holiday in the country to 74 this year.
More than 70 Chinese died from drowning in Thailand last year, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported.
The ministry said that from January to April this year, 3.1 million Chinese nationals visited Thailand.
"Ignoring safety alerts is one of the main reasons accidents happen," a Thai lifeguard told CCTV News, adding that "red flags and patrols are placed in dangerous areas in every 50 meters."
However, many Chinese visitors told CCTV the warning signs are not prominent in Phuket Island, especially individual visitors who are not guided by lifeguards.
On Wednesday, the Chinese consulate on the southern Thai city of Songkhla put up a notice on its website, warning Chinese to be cautious when swimming in the sea.
"The death rate for those snorkeling is over 10 times higher than those swimming…Chinese tourists have died in the attractions of Krabi and Phuket Island every month since the beginning of 2017."