Chen Pengtuan, 25, was swimming at Klong Hin Beach at 2pm when he disappeared under the water, said Lt Pittaya Jariyanukul of the Koh Lanta Police.
Mr Chen’s girlfriend screamed for help and local residents and other tourists rushed into the water to try to find Mr Chen, but were unable to find him, Lt Pittaya said.
“Rescue divers searched 100 metres from shore looking for Mr Chen, and found him about 30 minutes later, but he was unconscious,” Lt Pittaya explained.
“They brought him ashore and administered CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and rushed him to hospital, but he was pronounced dead soon after at the emergency room.”
Lt Pittaya believed Mr Chen suffered cramp while swimming.
“He went into the water without a life vest and probably swam for a long time, so we believe that he suffered a leg cramp and then drowned,” he said.