A 60-year-old Chinese tourist collapsed and drowned Friday afternoon as he was snorkelling with a group of other tourists at Koh Sak island, a few kilometres off the coast of Pattaya. The elderly man was part of a 15-member Chinese tour group who had joined a snorkelling trip to Koh Sak with three diving instructors at 15:00.
The unnamed Chinese tourist was reportedly “unconscious” but still alive when diving staff spotted his motionless body floating in the shallow water. He was given first aid on the diving boat and then taken back to the shore, where he died shortly after in hospital.
While police suspect that “chronic health conditions, coupled with hot weather” are to blame for the tourist’s death, a diver website concludes that it is more likely the Chinese tourist suffered from shallow water blackout, i.e. a sudden loss of consciousness caused by oxygen starvation. The blackout is instantaneous and usually without warning.
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