Tourist Plunges to Death Parasailing in Phuket

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Footage shows one moment he is having fun, and seconds later he is free falling as his wife who was recording the video watches in horror.

Tributes have rolled in for a prominent Perth businessman who fell to his death while parasailing at Phuket’s popular Kata beach.

Roger John Hussey was launched into the air on Wednesday, but just 13 seconds later the adventure turned to tragedy, with his wife reportedly filming the fatal fall.

The video posted on Facebook shows Hussey being strapped into safety gear on the beach, but the straps between his legs were left undone.

The 71-year-old man was relaxed and smiling.

The video then shows Hussey and a crew member of the parasailing operator being pulled up into the air as the boat left the beach.

Hussey fell as the parasail wing was still climbing. The fall to the shallow waters below was about 30 metres.

Beachgoers screamed and rushed to bring Hussey ashore but he was having difficulty breathing. He was rushed to hospital but died a short time later.

Hussey was well-known in Western Australian business circles and was on a number of boards, including Princess Margaret Hospital, the Telethon Institute, The Perron Institute, Landgate and non-profit aged care provider Bethanie.

“Roger had a real passion for the community and he loved to give back, he had a lot of philanthropic endeavours in Thailand, but also in Australia,” Bethanie CEO Chris How said, according to the Herald Sun.

“He was a very dedicated person, a very warm person, he obviously took great pride in helping people,” The Perron Institute spokesperson Steve Arnott added.

It’s unclear exactly what went wrong during Hussey’s parasail but local police say they’re investigating whether Hussey accidentally unclipped himself from the harness shortly after taking off.

Hussey and his wife had been holidaying in northern Thailand’s Chiang Mai before travelling to Phuket.

They were reportedly scheduled to travel back to Australia on Friday.

The parasail operators have been interviewed by police and charged with recklessness causing death.

According to the Daily Mail, Roongroj Rakcheep, who took Hussey into the air on his tragic adventure, said it was not his fault. He claimed Hussey was “nervous and panicked” and “accidentally unbuckled the equipment”.

Hussey’s Thai wife Boosabong Tongsanga dismissed the claim as his family paid tribute to a loving husband and father on social media.

“You are engraved on my memory forever. RIP Daddy,” one of Hussey’s children posted.

“Ask my Daddy to sleep…I promise to be strong …love you every day,” another said.

Hussey died at the same Phuket beach where 20-year-old Aussie Emily Collie died in a horror jet-ski crash with her boyfriend in February.