In front of hundreds of sunbathing tourists, the body of Stephan Henricus Maria Buczynski, 27, was retrieved by rescue workers. It was estimated he had been dead about an hour.
Hanging around his neck was a pouch containing his passport, cash in both baht and euros and an empty pill packet that once contained Benzodiazepine, a sedative.
There was a severe wound to the back of his head.
Pol Capt Pathapee Srichai of Kathu Police said investigators are working on two theories: that he was walking on the rocks at the south end of Kalim Bay and slipped, banging his head and then sliding into the water; or that he was murdered and then thrown into the ocean.
Mr Buczynski’s body was taken to Patong Hospital for autopsy.