A man from Japan disappeared for several days after swimming near Koh Phangan. A search team now found his dead body.
Mr Airi Takima, 23, was last seen swimming near Koh Ma, a small island only a few hundred metres north from Koh Phangan in the Gulf of Thailand, Pol Capt Somchai Nopsri told Thai media. “This is where he went missing,” Pol Capt Somchai said.
Police started a search but were unable find the young tourist. “We notified the Japanese Embassy and Mr Takima’s parents themselves,” Pol Capt Somchai said. Concerned that her son might be dead, they quickly booked a flight to Thailand to support the search around Koh Ma and Koh Phangan.
A search in the early morning of Saturday, September 7 brought sad certainty to all involved in the search. “At one spot near Koh Ma, we noted a smell of a decomposing body,” Pol Capt Somchai described the moment. “We followed the trace and finally found Mr Airi Takima lying dead on a rock bed.”
Mr Takima’s parents, who took part in the search and were sitting in the same boat, had the unpleasant task to confirm whether the body was her son. Intense sunlight and salt water had altered his appearance, so the parents had to identify her child based on a unique series of moles on his skin.
In his report, Pol Capt Somchai said that Mr Takima had drowned after he was flushed away by high waves. “Red flags telling beachgoers not to enter the water were put up, but it seems like he ignored them, ” the officers wrote.
Local rescue workers transported the body to Koh Phangan Hospital for an autopsy which confirmed the cause of death as drowning. He was cremated a day later.
As it is a custom in Japanese funerals, the parents kept the bones of their son and brought them back to Japan so that their son could be cremated in the traditional Japanese way .
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