Two Filipino tourists went missing on Wednesday afternoon after they were carried out to sea by high waves, Coconuts Bangkok reports.
The two men were named as Angelo Bien Rafael Cortez, 29, and Noah Ibay, 40.
Cortez and Ibay were swimming at Freedom Beach in Phuket’s Kathu District yesterday when they became separated from their group and swept out into the ocean blue by heavy winds and high waves, according to Kusoldharm Foundation volunteer rescuers, who were notified at about 5pm, the report added.
Someone answering the phone at the foundation told Coconuts Bangkok this morning that boats were dispatched to look for the missing pair today despite little optimism they could have survived under such rough conditions. The representative said the tourists ignored weather warnings and went swimming regardless of the approaching storm.
Prior to the accident, witnesses saw about a dozen tourists hanging out and swimming at Freedom Beach. When the duo started being carried out to sea, the rest of the group frantically tried to help but were unable to do anything.
After being notified, local authorities said they could not embark to search by boat due to heavy rain and nearly 2-meter waves. They were forced to call off the search overnight before resuming it this morning.
Rescuers repeated warnings to all beachgoers to heed weather warnings before going for a stormy dip.