Swedish tourists drown in Thailand

Two Swedish women have drowned in the resort island of Pha Ngan as torrential rains tore across southern Thailand, police said Friday.

Josefin Ossman, 21, and Johanna Sofia Lindstrom, 21 from the Linköping area, were pronounced dead late Thursday after they drowned while swimming at Pha Ngan, despite warnings about the unusually strong current, police said.

“Police had warned them that the current was too strong to swim at Rin beach, but six of them did not heed our warning and went ahead and jumped into the ferocious sea,” Colonel Pinyo Hualkasin told AFP.

Pha Ngan hosts a monthly full moon party, popular especially with young tourists who travel to the island for a night of drinking and dancing.

But Pinyo said provincial authorities had cancelled the party set for Friday night because of the powerful storm that has been lashing the Gulf of Thailand.

“We cancelled the party on safety reasons,” he said.

Twelve Thais have died in floods across 14 southern provinces since late November, including a boy and his father who died in a mudslide that buried their home in Songkhla province Thursday.