NZ yachtie killed in Thailand named

The New Zealand yachtsman who was killed during a storm in Phuket, Thailand, yesterday has been named.

Richard Spraggs, 59, drowned in Chalong Bay after falling off his yacht La Zingara about 6am.

Chalong police told Phuket News he lost his balance while trying to push a nearby boat away from his yacht during the storm.

He hit his head on the nearby boat as he fell, lost consciousness and fell into the water, where he drowned.

"After he fell from the deck, a friend on another boat nearby went to help him and pulled him out of the water, but was unable to revive him," said Captain Chianchai Duangsuwan.

The storm and heavy rain may have contributed to Mr Spraggs' death, Mr Chianchai.

Mr Spraggs was a regular visitor to Phuket for six years and was well known in Ao Chalong yachting circles, the Phuket News reported.

Phuket Cruising Yacht Club club captain Brent McInnes said Mr Spraggs had been involved with the club for a year or so.

"He was a boat-owning member of the club. He used to come down the place every day - he was a friendly happy guy. He would talk with most people who came in, and he lived on his boat in the Chalong anchorage."

Mr McInnes described Mr Spraggs as a "cruising yachtie".

 

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