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Chinese tourist comatose after near drowning on Krabi snorkelling tour

PHUKET: A 22-year-old Chinese woman remains comatose at Krabi Hospital after being pulled unconscious from the water during a snorkelling tour at Koh Gai (Chicken Island) in Phang Nga Bay on Saturday (Oct 1).

Chinese, marine, tourism, accidents, military,

Eakkapop Thongtub

Monday 3 October 2016, 10:27AM

Chief Petty Officer First Class Weerawut Padam, who is Chief of the Royal Thai Navy emergency rescue team based at Koh Lanta Noi, said his team were notified of the incident at 1pm.

“We responded to the call and rendezvoused with her tour boat at Poda Island,” Chief Weerawut told The Phuket News.

“She was unconscious when our team arrived. Our team administered CPR and transported her to the pier at Ao Nam Mao on the mainland. From there, she was rushed to Krabi Hospital,” he said.

CPO Weerawut identified the tourist as Lai Xiaochang, 22, from Guangdong, China.

“We were told that Miss Lai was snorkelling with friends at Chicken Island when after about 10 minutes a friend noticed that she was not moving,” he said.

C and C Marine

“Her friend rushed to her and found that she was unconsciousness, and quickly alerted the tour group leader,” he said.

“The tour team responded and quickly pulled her out of the water and rushed her to Poda Island, which is nearby and where a medical team is based. Our team picked her up from there,” he added.

Ms Lai remains comatose at Krabi Hospital, CPO Weerawut reported.

“Doctors had to administer a heart stimulant due to low blood pressure and they have put her on a ventilator to assist her breathing. We are still waiting to see if her condition improves,” he said.



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Bill Clinton | 03 October 2016 - 17:20:37

Very sad, but it is too early to place the blame the tour operator without knowing what actually led to the incident.

Regarding a health certificate for scuba diving - years ago you could visit some local Phuket doctors with a chronic health condition that should prevent scuba diving, pay 200 baht and walk out with a doctors certificate certifying person healthy for scuba diving.  I doubt much has changed since then, except the doctors fee has probably increased to 500 baht.

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Kurt | 03 October 2016 - 14:11:08

To start with a PADI ( and other firms) scuba dive course you have to produce a health certificate to prove your health is ok for it to join a dive course.
Perhaps good to consider to have that for snorkeling people as well?
Actually it is not normal when a young person, 22 years old, snorkless that after 10 minutes a life threatening situation occurs.

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Ed Sanders | 03 October 2016 - 12:20:05

Chalk up another tragic vacation for the Chinese. I hope the tour group leader wasn't too upset that his/her Facebook session was interrupted by the silly Chinese tourist.  These tour companies just cannot be trusted to oversee the safety and well being of their customers.

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Rich 44 | 03 October 2016 - 11:18:39

What kind of snorkels are being used?
They should be the kind that seal up automatically if you go too far under water, or if water tries to come down the tube because of a wave.
I have a bad feeling they are straight tubes. This poor lady, with no experience with snorkel, probably breathed in water that came down the tube.  

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