Despite wearing a life jacket, an elderly Chinese tourist drowned while on a boat trip to Koh Phi Phi in Krabi province Tuesday afternoon.
Koh Phi Phi Provincial Police Station was informed of an incident involving a Chinese tourist who was lying unconscious on a beach at 13:30. Arriving at Loh Mo Dee Beach in the south-east of the popular tourist island, officers found a group of people gathering the unconscious man, later identified as 67-year-old Tang Hongzhu, Pol Lt Santipot Nuanrueang told Manager Online.
Bystanders administered first-aid until local rescue volunteers arrived on the scene. Even though Mr Hongzhu was rushed to the closest hospital, rescue workers were not able to save the life of the elderly tourist. He was pronounced dead upon arrival at Koh Phi Phi Hospital.
Police investigated the circumstances and were told that Mr Hongzhu had arrived at Koh Phi Phi’s Loh Mo Dee Bay two hours earlier along with 25 other tourists (21 adults and five children) on the tour boat Trip Nisa. The 18-year-old captain of the Trip Nisa, Tirawad Changnam, told police that he had picked up the group and three crew members from Koh Lanta earlier that day.
“When they arrived at Loh Mo Dee Bay at around 11:15, Mr Hongzhu and other tourists reportedly put on their life jackets and went for a swim,” Pol Lt Santipot reconstructed the events. Shortly later, Mr Tirawad heard people shouting that “a man has drowned”, prompting him to jump into the water to pull out the already unconscious man.
Explaining why Mr Hongzhu drowned despite wearing a life jacket, Pol Lt Santipot said: “Doctors at Koh Phi Phi Hospital said that Mr Tang had a sudden health issue while swimming, causing him to lose consciousness.”
The Chinese Embassy has been informed of the death of Mr Hongzhu.
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