News World Australian man dies in Thailand parasailing accident
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Australian man dies in Thailand parasailing accident

Parasailing
An Australian man has died while parasailing in Thailand, as his wife watched on. Photo: Facebook
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An Australian man has fallen to his death while parasailing off the Thai resort island of Phuket, with his wife filming the horrific moment.

Roger John Hussey, 71, fell more than 30 metres into shallow water after his safety harness came loose mid-flight at Kata Beach on Wednesday.

The video of the flight, reportedly recorded by his wife, Budsabong Thongsangka, showed Mr Hussey relaxed and smiling as he was being strapped in on shore.

Mr Hussey and a crew member, who was not wearing a harness, were lifted into the air as the boat left the beach.

Parasailing
Roger Hussey, 71, died in hospital shortly after. Photo: Facebook

However, about 20 seconds into the flight Mr Hussey is seen free-falling into the water below as onlookers screamed.

Beachgoers rushed to bring the Australian man to shore, who was reportedly having difficulty breathing after he was pulled from the sea.

He died in hospital a short time after, Karon Police Station duty officer Lieutenant Suwisit Khirirak confirmed.

It is not known how Mr Hussey came loose from the harness, with Thai media reporting he may have accidentally unfastened his safety gear, while others say the straps between his legs were left undone.

The crew member involved is currently being questioned by police, according to local media.

The boat operator and driver Monthian Jandaeng has been charged with reckless driving causing death by Thai police.

The video was posted to Facebook after being handed to police.

The New Daily has chosen to edit the video not to show Mr Hussey’s fall.

Warning: some viewers may find footage disturbing

A ‘deep thinking’, successful individual

Mr Hussey, a prominent Perth businessman, and his wife had been holidaying in northern Thailand’s Chiang Mai before travelling to Phuket.

They were reportedly due to return to Australia on Friday.

Mr Hussey established ASX-listed industrial company, Century Holdings Ltd, which grew from a start-up to a $250 million in group revenue in Australia and Asia.

He served on the board of numerous companies, including Landgate WA, WA Neuroscience Research Institute and the Bali Eye Foundation.

He also chaired other government and community bodies, such as Southern Ports Authority, Princess Margaret Hospital, Telethon Kids Institute, Agwest Trade Development, and TAB (WA).

Mr Hussey studied at University of Western Australia where he graduated with a law degree, before completing degrees in economics and politics at Oxford.

Tributes flowed for Mr Hussey on Thursday, who has been described as a “deep thinking” man willing to “challenge conventional views”.

“Those who have worked closely with Roger are deeply saddened by this news,” Landgate said in a statement.

“Roger was an intelligent and energetic contributor to Landgate’s board and to Western Australia’s business community.

“He served the West Australian community in many ways — as a businessman, board member and advocate for a variety of community causes.

“We will miss his deep thinking, willingness to challenge conventional views, and passion for growing our business.”

Southern Ports chairman Robert Cole offered sympathies to his family and friends.

“As an experienced board member he brought with him valuable business acumen, including strategic planning and corporate governance skills which put our organisation on a strong footing into the future,” Mr Cole said in a statement to ABC.

Deadly Thailand

The latest tragedy follows a jet ski accident in February when 20-year-old Australian woman Emily Collie died.

Her boyfriend, Thomas Keating, later pleaded guilty to reckless driving causing death.

According to Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade data, Thailand is one of the most dangerous destinations for Australian visitors.

More than 320 Australians were injured or died in Thailand in 2016, ahead of the Philippines and Indonesia.

Australian Bureau of Statistics report more than 500,000 Australians visit Thailand every year.

– with AAP and ABC