The death of a young Australian man is being treated by police as a tragic accident after an investigation this week reignited speculation about the dangers that hotel balconies in Thailand pose to holidaying foreign tourists.
Thai police in Phuket have concluded that the death of a young Australian, identified as 22-year-old Billy James Simmons, on Tuesday night at his hotel on the island was a tragic accident. They also revealed that prescription sex drugs were found in the young man’s room, along with an empty beer bottle and half a bottle of Thai whiskey.
Local police in Phuket’s Kathu district believe the death of a 22-year-old Australian tourist on Tuesday night in the resort island’s Patong area was the result of a tragic accident when he fell from the balcony of the 11th floor of his luxury hotel.
Police also revealed that unopened packets of the prescription sex drug Viagra were found in the deceased’s bedroom along with a half-full bottle of Thai whiskey and an empty bottle of Chang beer.
Officers also believe the young man had used some of the sex drugs found in his bedroom.
The Australian was on the holiday island for a two week holiday with 11 friends staying at a luxury hotel
Billy James Simmons arrived in Phuket on May 14 with 11 Australian friends and was due to leave the kingdom on May 28.
He was staying at the upscale Royal Paradise Hotel & Spa near Patong’s famous nightlife hub with his friends when his body was discovered by a security guard taking a break at 10 p.m. Tuesday.
A horrified Wongthatsatham Santi found the young man lying face down on the pavement just below his hotel room balcony and sounded the alarm.
Rescue services initially encountered difficulty in gaining access to the body, which was then transported to Patong Hospital.
The police investigation into the death revealed his friends dropped him off at his bedroom on Tuesday night
Police immediately launched an investigation into the death which included interviewing his friends at the hotel and locals who had interacted with the young Australian during his stay on the island.
They also recovered CCTV footage of the hotel and its surroundings.
It is understood the youngster’s friends told police they dropped him off at his hotel room on Tuesday night after spending time partying with him in the famous nightlife hub of Patong.
Police are satisfied there was no evidence of a struggle in the young man’s bedroom and believe he fell from the balcony as a result of a misjudged movement.
No wrestling sign in hotel room
“There was no sign of a struggle in the room. After interviewing the friends, they said they went out partying with Billy, then took him back to the room and left him there. Later he fell from the balcony,” Police Col. Sarit Budnongsaeng of Patang Police said after reviewing the evidence in the case.
On Wednesday, it was reported that the deceased’s father was flying to Phuket to make arrangements to repatriate the young man’s body.
Massage Parlor Girls Remember Billy
In Patong on Thursday, many of the girls working in the massage parlors along the way to the historic hotel where this tragedy happened Tuesday night at the nightlife hub seemed to remember 22-year-old Billy Simmons.
They recalled that he often appeared to be inebriated.
Khun Wan, one of the girls at a local massage parlour, remembers him well: “I often saw him in the mornings and evenings and he always seemed to be drunk. It’s a shock that he died.
Balcony deaths involving foreigners in Thailand are not uncommon and are caused by several factors
Tragedies involving foreign men in Thailand, especially in nightlife hotspots such as Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket are not uncommon, as is also the case with other popular mass tourist destinations around the world. , including Spain.
The phenomenon is not so mysterious despite decades of intense speculation that emerges whenever such a tragedy occurs.
As for Thailand, it is believed that the balconies of high-rise hotels are built with railings or lower exterior walls than normal to meet the needs of the local population.
In Thailand, it has been suggested that the average height of these guardrails in high-rise buildings is between 700mm and 800mm, which is quite low for the average western visitor who may be between 1750mm and 2000mm tall. height.
UK government campaign launched in 2012 aimed at holidaymakers traveling overseas using hotel balconies
This is a long-established phenomenon which led to an official campaign launched in 2012 by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office in conjunction with the ABTA or Travel Association encouraging UK holidaymakers to exercise caution regarding balconies when abroad and especially when consuming alcohol.
“Please use your balcony sensibly and safely to ensure that the view you see will not be the last,” the campaign urged. “Dozens of British holidaymakers die or are seriously injured each year as a result of inappropriate behavior on balconies, often after having a few drinks or taking drugs.”
50% of balcony deaths in Thailand are linked to suicide attempts while 30% involve foreigners
However, there are several other factors in these deaths, with an informal 2016 survey based on 2015 deaths finding that almost 50% of cases involved suicides, with 34% of cases believed to be accidents.
Pattaya bar girl jumps to her death after heated argument with foreign boyfriend on her birthday
Austrian dies in a fall from the 12th floor in Phuket. Death of 3 Austrian nationals in 48 hours
However, in Thailand, it should be noted that 30% of all these deaths are linked to foreigners and in particular Westerners living in the kingdom, a disproportionate number considering the number of foreigners in the kingdom at any time, including the foreign tourists.
Local law enforcement sources in Pattaya and Phuket have also linked the deaths and accidents, which also involve Thai nationals, particularly Thai women, with alcohol consumption which is more common among Western foreigners.
Women, culture and weather in Thailand are all factors leading to more suicides of foreigners
There is also a growing prevalence in Thailand of foreign residents in the kingdom who commit suicide.
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