PHUKET, Thailand – A prominent businessman from Australia fell 70 meters (230 feet) to his death while parasailing in southern Thailand, police said Thursday.
Roger John Hussey was briefly conscious when medics reached him Wednesday, but he died shortly afterward in a hospital, said police Lt. Col. Pichai Songmuang. The parasailing operator and the boat driver have been charged with negligence causing death, he said.
Hussey’s wife, Boosabong Tongsanga, said Hussey had been watching people parasail for days before he decided to do it.
“We thought it was safe,” said Tongsanga, who was watching from the beach as her husband fell into shallow water.
Video circulated on social media shows the accident, along with earlier footage of a smiling Hussey being helped into a harness and life jacket on the beach in Phuket.
Water sports such as parasailing are popular in tourist destinations like Phuket. But safety measures are not always strictly enforced.
Hussey was CEO of an investment company and served on the boards of several government and community bodies including as deputy chair of Landgate, which is Western Australia state’s land information authority. In a written statement, Landgate said Hussey was intelligent and energetic.
“He served the West Australian community in many ways – as a businessman, board member and advocate for a variety of community causes,” the statement said.