Lt Sakkarin Sangjaroen of the Chalong Police and Phuket Tourist Police were notified of the incident at 3:40pm.
Tour operators at Racha Noi transported the body of the man, later identified as He Sixiang, 26, from landlocked Guizhou Province, to Chalong Pier and then taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket Town.
“Mr He was on holidays with his girlfriend. He was staying a hotel in Patong and was to return home tomorrow (Oct 17),” Lt Jetsada Wichian of Phuket Tourist Police told The Phuket News.
Mr He was on a snorkelling tour to Racha Island when the incident happened, Lt Jetsada said.
Tourist Police identified the tour operator as “Aqua Dive Centre Co”.
“At 11:30am, the tour stopped at Banana Bay for lunch and swimming. At 1:30pm, the tour guide noticed that Mr He was missing when the guide checked the list of tourists present before moving to another place.
“The tour operator searched and found Mr He floating face down on the water. He was still wearing a snorkel. His hand was holding a life jacket that had not been put on,” Lt Jetsada added.
“Mr He was pulled from the water and rendered first aid, but he remained unconscious and unresponsive,” Lt Jetsada explained.
Mr He was later pronounced dead from drowning.
It was not reported how far from the tour party or boat Mr He’s body was found, or who was entrusted with watching over the tourists while they were in the water, or whether Mr He’s girlfriend was present to watch Mr He die.
Mr He’s girlfriend and his family in China have been informed of his death, Lt Jetsada noted.