US Army Vet Goes Missing in Phuket While Saving Family

 June 10, 2024

An act of heroic sacrifice unfolds at Nai Harn Beach in Phuket, Thailand, where a family outing turns tragic.

James Everett du Bois, a 49-year-old former US Army serviceman, vanished after being caught by a swift current as he attempted to rescue his wife and toddler son.

According to Daily Mail, James Everett du Bois, his spouse Siriarmorn Phetarwut, and their three-year-old son, Boonpat, were swimming late Sunday afternoon when they were overwhelmed by powerful currents. While Siriarmorn managed to swim back to safety, and Boonpat was saved by vigilant lifeguards, du Bois was swept away.

The search operation for du Bois began immediately but was hindered as night fell due to deteriorating weather and visibility; it had to be suspended at 8:10 PM. Rescuers resumed their efforts the following morning, deploying boats and drones to comb the turbulent waters.

Community’s Role and Response

Before his disappearance, James Everett du Bois had moved from his US Army role to serve as a community-focused missionary in Belize.

His life after military service included managing a small business revolving around bicycle sales in the Rawai region, close to where the tragedy struck. On social media, du Bois often depicted his content family life, which resonated deeply with his community and followers.

The conditions on the day of the incident were notably perilous. Despite yellow caution flags hoisted at Nai Harn Beach indicating moderate risk, neighboring beaches flagged severe warnings with their red displays. Local reporters noted the aggressive heights of the waves, climbing up to ten feet, adding to the already hazardous situation.

According to Rawai Mayor Arun Soros: "The wife and boy are now safe, but the American man is still missing. We are continuing to search for the man, but we believe he has drowned."

Du Bois's deep affection for his family was evident in what he shared online. In a heart-wrenching post, he once referred to his young son Boonpat as not just family but his "joy, pride, motivation, best friend, my life!" Furthermore, despite the geographical distance, he expressed a poignant sentiment for his daughter Kayla, noting, "Although we are far apart, I love you and miss you dearly."

Local and International Reactions

The local and international community has come together to support the du Bois family during this difficult time, expressing hope for a positive resolution. This tragic event has also ignited a conversation about the importance of beach safety and the need for stricter adherence to warning signs during hazardous conditions.

The loss of James Everett du Bois serves as a poignant reminder of the unpredictable nature of ocean currents and the courage required to face such dangers. His actions demonstrated his deep love and dedication to his family, reflecting true bravery and selflessness that his loved ones will always cherish.

This event has not only brought about grief but has also prompted a broader discussion on the critical need for effective safety measures and increased public awareness at beaches, which can sometimes misleadingly appear calm and safe.


The disappearance of James Everett du Bois is a poignant event that has touched many. His courageous attempt to save his family is a potent reminder of the perils hidden within natural beauty spots like Nai Harn Beach. It underlines the essential need for rigorous safety standards and effective communication of dangers to the public. As the community continues to support the du Bois family, they hold onto hope, remembering the man who placed the love for his family above all else.

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