Phang Nga Governor Sitthichai Sakda announced the reward at Phang Nga Provincial Hall yesterday (Mar 5).
“The private sector of Phang Nga has gathered B100,000 to reward anyone who gives a clue that leads to the return of the body of the Chinese tourist back to her relatives,” Gov Sittichai said.
Meanwhile, Sayan Kitmano, the head of the Phang Nga office of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM-Phang Nga), joined a meeting at the offices of the Cherng Talay Tambon Administrative Organisation (OrBorTor) in Phuket to follow up on the search efforts with other officials.
A search effort by Cherng Talay rescue workers and officials, and a Royal Thai Navy air-sea rescue search, was launched late Saturday afternoon after a body believed to be that of Ms Yang was spotted by local fishermen offshore from Patong. (See story here.)
To explain details of what search efforts have been carried out, a press conference was held at the Phuket Tourist Police headquarters in Phuket Town yesterday (Mar 5).
Leading the press conference was Col Tongchai Wilaiprom, Superintendent of Tourist Police Division 3, which is responsible for Phuket, Phang Nga, Krabi, Ranong, Surat Thani (including Koh Samui).
Joining Col Tongchai were Maj Eakkachai Siri of the Phuket Tourist Police, Cdr Sombat Sangchaiyapoom of the Royal Thai Navy Third Area Command, Kamala Police Chief Col Sukkasem Nakhonwilai, Lt Col Tossapon Monsit of the Phuket Marine Police, and others.
Col Tongchai explained that coordinated search efforts were launched on Sunday after local fisherman Samrit Pimon, 59, reported finding the body. Specifically, the Royal Thai Navy launched their own search by boat and helicopter.
The search was called off as darkness fell on Sunday evening, with the search resuming on Sunday morning, he said.
Col Tongchai confirmed to The Phuket News this morning that the search is continuing today (Mar 6).
Of note, Col Tongchai yesterday reported that the body spotted off Patong on Sunday was about 10 nautical miles offshore. However, in the intial report on Sunday, it was reported that the body was spotted about 10 kilometres offshore – a difference of some 8,250 metres
Meanwhile, a representative from a tour company, which was not publicly identified at the press conference, told the media yesterday, “We have spoken with the relatives of the Chinese tourist. They are satisfied in how officials are working to search for the body. They still hope that the body will be found soon.”