Australian businessman Roger John Hussey, 71, fell 70 meters (230 feet) to his death while parasailing in Phuket, Thailand on Wednesday, July 12. Hussey, whose wife captured the footage of the horrifying fall from the beach below, was briefly conscious when medics reached him Wednesday. But he was later pronounced dead at a hospital.
In footage of the horror moment, Hussey and a parasailing crew member can be seen being pulled into the air by a boat with the Perth businessman’s leg straps not appearing to be properly secured. The businessman’s wife, Boosabong Tongsanga, said Hussey had been watching people parasail for days before he decided to do it. “We thought it was safe,” she said.
Video on social media shows the Australia man parasailing accident, along with earlier footage of a smiling Hussey being helped into a harness and life jacket on the beach.
Lt. Col. Suwisit Keereerak, Deputy Chief Inspector of Karon Police Station, said they were already investigating the accident. However, it is still unclear whether Hussey died due to drowning or the impact of the fall. His body, which had red marks from when he is believed to have hit the water, has already been sent to the coroner to determine the cause of death, according to International Business Times.
Negligence leading to death
In the wake of the tragic accident, the parasailing operator and the boat driver were reportedly both arrested and charged with negligence leading to death. The two staff were identified as parasailor Rungroj Rakscheep, 38, and Montien Chandeng, 45, the boat captain.
Both claimed Hussey accidentally pulled on a hook which led to him unstrapping his harness, causing him to fall to the sea below. Although the equipment was checked and verified to be all in working condition, the men were reportedly operating illegally not having another technician on board the boat in addition to the driver.
Phuket governor Norraphat Plodthong immediately announced a temporary ban on parasailing activities following the incident.
“We have to find a solution to prevent such accidents from occurring in the future. What that solution could be is still unclear, because there are no organizations accountable for parasailing and it’s not covered by the Thailand Sports Act,” said Gov. Norraphat, per DailyMail.
Most dangerous destinations for Australian
The Australia man parasailing accident comes after a jetski incident in February which caused 20-year-old Australian woman Emily Collie’s death. Her boyfriend Thomas Keating later pleaded guilty to reckless driving causing death.
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade data lists Thailand as one of the most dangerous destinations for Australians. Over 320 Australians were injured or died in Thailand last year, ahead of the Philippines and Indonesia.