A tourist from Shanghai was pronounced dead after he was pulled out of the water in an unconscious state on Racha Yai Island in Phuket province.
Police reported that Chen Hangsheng, 62, had been on a group tour organised by Jie Yun Co Ltd when the accident occurred, The Phuket News wrote. The group included Mr Chen and other Asian tourists who had left Chalong Pier in Phuket for a trip to Koh Racha Yai at 13:30.
Before they arrived on the island, the boat stopped to allow the tourists to snorkel in the clear water. According to the 24-year-old tour guide, Suti Maliwan, everyone was wearing a life jacket when they entered the water. Mr Chen Hangshe was one of the swimmers.
At one point, a tourist cried for help when he saw Mr Chen Hangshe floating unconscious on the water. They rushed to grab him and pulled him onto the boat. The captain started to perform CPR while Mr Suti called for help via radio.
“Mr Chen Hangshe was still unconscious when the speedboat arrived,” Mr Suti told officers at Chalong Provincial Police Station later that day. “We transferred him to the boat and rushed back to the mainland.” However, Mr Suti said, Mr Chen Hangshe died before they could reach the shore.
The Phuket News formally contacted Pol Lt Sakkarin Saengcharoen at Chalong Provincial Police Station who confirmed that the Chinese tourist had died of asphyxiation when he suddenly lost consciousness while he was in the water. The cause for this has yet to be established by an autopsy, Pol Lt Sakkarin said.
Mr Chen Hangshe had checked into APK Resort & Spa in Patong subdistrict with four other family members on April 21. They were due to check five days later on April 26.
Pol Lt Sakkarin confirmed towards The Phuket News that the Chinese Embassy officials had been informed of Mr Chen Hangshe’s death. Until relatives have claimed the body and filled out the necessary paperwork, his body is being kept at Vachira Phuket Hospital.
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