The girl, Song Jinghan, on holiday with her family from Shandong Province in China, was pronounced dead at Bangkok Hospital Phuket this morning (July 24), confirmed Maj Ekkachai Siri of the Phuket Tourist Police.
“We were informed by the hospital that the girl passed away at about 11am. We don’t know any other details and have yet to confirm the exact cause of death. Tourist Police officers are on their way to the hospital now,” Maj Ekkachai told The Phuket News.
Phuket Tourist Police were notified of the the girl’s situation at about 12:30pm yesterday when Emergency Medical Services (EMS) reported they were transporting her from the Nonthasak Marine Phuket Pier at Koh Siray, on the east side of Phuket Town, to the Phuket Provincial Hospital.
Although the three Koh Khai islands are just under eight kilometres off Phuket’s east coast, they are located within Koh Yao District in neighbouring Phang Nga Province, leaving the Koh Yao Police as responsible for leading the investigation.
Miss Song and her family were on a tour organised by Joel Thai Co Ltd, with the boat provided by Phuket Absolute Marine Co Ltd, reported the Koh Yao Police.
Jirasak Jareontangchokchai, the 33-year-old captain of the Sasiyanon 9 speedboat used for the trip, told police that they arrived at Koh Khai Nok at about 11:40am.
Miss Song and her family joined other tourists snorkelling at the island, he said.
All tourists were wearing life jackets, he pointed out.
“But there were too many people in the water,” Capt Jirasak said.
“No people saw that she (Song) was not moving until the boat crew noticed it about 10 minutes after the tourists were in the water,” he said.
The boat crew dived in and pulled Song out of the water, Capt Jirasak added.
Miss Song was unconscious, but had a pulse and was breathing unassisted, he noted.
“We rushed her back to Phuket and an ambulance team took her to Phuket Provincial Hospital,” he said.
Miss Song was later transferred to Bangkok Hospital Phuket in Phuket Town.
Koh Yao Police reported that they had spoken with Miss Song’s family members and confirmed that the girl did not suffer from any known health issues.
They also confirmed they are continuing their investigation. However, they have yet to report any charges over the girl’s death.
Phuket Tourist Police meanwhile are coordinating with Chinese embassy officials in providing assistance to the family.