Australian man, 71, falls to death while parasailing in Phuket

Australian businessman Roger Hussey fell while parasailing after accidentally pulling on a hook that unstrapped his harness.
Australian businessman Roger Hussey fell while parasailing after accidentally pulling on a hook that unstrapped his harness. PHOTOS: SCREENGRAB FROM YOUTUBE

PHUKET - A prominent Australian businessman was killed while parasailing on the Thai resort island of Phuket on Wednesday (July 12).

Mr Roger Hussey, 71, reportedly fell 30m to his death shortly after lift-off from the popular Kata beach.

According to Thai media reports, Mr Hussey had accidentally pulled on a hook that unstrapped his harness after confusing the ropes on his parasail.

He plunged into the water and was pulled to shore by beachgoers, who said he had problems breathing. He was rushed to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Mr Hussey's wife was believed to have filmed the incident. The couple were on holiday in northern Thailand and were due to return to Australia on Friday.

Footage of the incident showed a smiling Mr Hussey strapped in his safety gear before a boat pulled him and a local, who was not harnessed, into the air.

Seconds later, he was seen falling from the air.

 

Thai police have since charged the boat operator with reckless driving causing death. Another man is under investigation.

A well-respected businessman in western Australia, Mr Hussey graduated with a law degree from the University of Western Australia and went on to complete a master's degree in economics and politics from Oxford University.

According to his LinkedIn profile, he grew industrial firm Century Holdings from a start-up to a A$250 million (S$265 million) company listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, and also worked for KPMG Consulting as a senior director and consultant.

He served on a number of boards, including as deputy chairman of western Australia's information authority Landgate, and chaired many government and community bodies.

In a statement, Landgate described Mr Hussey as an "intelligent and energetic contributor" to its board and western Australia's business community.

"Those who have worked closely with Roger are deeply saddened by this news," it added.

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