PRACHUAP KHIRIKHAN: An 43-year-old Irish kitesurfer drowned in heavy surf off Hua Hin beach after his control line became entangled with a buoy on Wednesday.
The accident occurred shortly after midday at the beach near Soi Hua Hin 77 in Hua Hin district. Rescuers who pulled him unconscious from the sea tried to resuscitate him for at least 10 minutes, to no avail.
He was identified as Jonathan Gerard. Police said he had been a frequent visitor to Hua Hin, and then married a Thai woman and settled down there.
Gerard was a kiteboarding enthusiast. He had his own equipment, rented a space to store it at a kitesurfing shop on Soi Hua Hin 77, and regularly surfed offshore from the beach.
Witnesses said they saw Gerard's control line become tangled with a buoy floating about 50 metres offshore, marking a swimming boundary.
He was pulled suddenly into the sea. It was assumed the entangled line trapped him under the strong waves.
Although rescuers reached him swiftly they took a long time to free him from his harness, and he drowned, police said.