German tourists rescued after blowing kayak off Phuket
PHUKET: Two German tourists were safely rescued and returned to Phuket after being swept off the coast by a passing storm while kayaking off the east coast of Phuket yesterday (August 22).
The couple managed to land on a beach in Koh Thanan, located about 1.7 kilometers from Ao Yon Beach in Wichit, where they began their journey.
Lt. Col. Eakkachai Siri of the Phuket Tourist Police reported that his officers were informed at around 1:20 p.m. yesterday that the couple had gone kayaking and were unable to return to Phuket.
One of the tourists had called the hotel where they were staying to report their plight. The hotel informed the tourist police via the tourist police hotline 1155. The tourist police then contacted the tourists directly, Lt. Col. Eakkachai said.
Tourist police and “assistants” quickly boarded a boat to pick up tourists from the island. As the boat approached the beach, they could see the German couple – Benedikt Niklas Martin Hoppe, 22, and Franziska Marie Drews-von Ruckteschell, 22 waving to them.
Mr Hoppe told police that while they were kayaking a small storm passed bringing heavy rains, big waves and strong gusts of wind that pushed them towards the island. They were unable to return to Phuket.
Lt. Col. Eakkachai confirmed that the two tourists suffered no injuries. They were brought back safely to Phuket and taken back to the hotel where they are staying in Wichit.
Tourists arrived in Phuket as part of the Phuket Sandbox program on July 24. This is their first trip to Thailand, he added.
The dangers of being blown off by kayak off Phuket have already made international headlines following the disappearance of Polish tourist Mateusz Juszkiewicz, 26, and Werakan Siriprakon, 23, of Nakhon Sawan, in December 2019.
The couple were last seen kayaking off Yanui Beach on the southwest coast of Phuket.
Despite days of search by air and sea rescue teams, the couple were never found.
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