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Chinese tourist mother watches helplessly as daughter drowns on Phuket snorkelling tour

PHUKET: A mother watched in horror as her daughter was pulled from the water unconscious while on a snorkelling tour off Phuket yesterday (Aug 21), and later died.

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Wednesday 22 August 2018, 01:53PM

Tourists enjoy a day tour to the Koh Khai islands off Phuket’s east coast. Photo: The Phuket News / file

Tourists enjoy a day tour to the Koh Khai islands off Phuket’s east coast. Photo: The Phuket News / file

Lu Shanshan, 33, from Tianjin in Sichuan Province, was on a tour booked with Happy Holidays, confirmed Lt Nutnaree Narksingha of the Phuket City Police, who was informed of the death at 4:25pm.

Ms Lu and her mother boarded the tour boat JJ Orca, which departed from Wisit Panwa Pier in Phuket, to enjoy a day trip to Koh Khai Nok, off Phuket’s east coast.

Tour guide Chalit Sae-mee explained to police that Ms Lu entered the water at the beach at Koh Khai Nork wearing a buoyancy vest and a snorkelling mask.

Later, Ms Lu’s mother, who remained on the beach, noticed that her daughter was not moving and raised the alarm.

The boat crew rushed to pull Ms Lu out of the water, but she was already unconscious and unresponsive.


Members of the boat crew performed CPR while they rushed Ms Lu back to Phuket, where on arriving she was sped to the Phuket Provincial Hospital in Rassada.

However, Ms Lu was pronounced dead on arrival.

Ms Lu and her mother landed in Phuket at 5am yesterday (Aug 21) and were due to fly home this Saturday (Aug 25). They were staying at a resort in Karon, Lt Nutnaree noted.

Staff at the Happy Holiday tour company confirmed to police that the company has insurance and that the policy covers compensation of up to B1 million in the event of death.

Police noted in their report that the mother has requested a medical examination of her daughter’s body to confirm the cause of death.



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Wiesel | 23 August 2018 - 15:37:55

Nobody knows the real reason yet but many smart comments from blame the thais to sell a Padi-course!! But anyhow, would you jump from a tree if you can not fly?? Why they jump in the water to deep to can stand in it?

Christy Sweet | 23 August 2018 - 14:39:08

Another successful cull  by the joint Thai- Chinese govt population control authority.  

CaptainJack69 | 22 August 2018 - 23:19:25

How can they do a 1 day snorkeling course when they're only here for 3 days anyway? No, these are the hi-density hard-sell zero-baht tours again. Cram 'um in rush 'um along and get 'um to buy as much over priced tat as possible along the way.  Mean while the Chinese tour operators sit back in Shenzhen and rake in the money.

Rich 44 | 22 August 2018 - 21:17:12

Seems to me, She went below the water line and breathed in the water. Choked and breathed in more water.
The snorkel should have a ball valve that blocks off water when the top of snorkel goes under the water. Instruct and demonstrate snorkel to customers. 
I posted a similar comment a year ago.

Pauly44 | 22 August 2018 - 19:52:53

Umm, how about designated swimming areas manned by professional lifeguards at popular tourist areas just for a start! This is getting ridiculous, seems every day I'm reading Chinese tourist drowns, it's actually a recipe for disaster, you've got Thailand which simply doesn't do safety and the Chinese who don't follow rules, this is the result.

Jor12 | 22 August 2018 - 17:48:37

What oversight?  Tell people that you can't breath underwater?

Nasa12 | 22 August 2018 - 16:43:58

Is this the last nail in the coffin for Phuket ? At least there are not many nails left from the Chinese government. 

BenPendejo | 22 August 2018 - 15:08:24

What a sad shame.  Of course, the tour company is quick to broadcast their insurance coverage, which confirms that a human life is worth about $30k USD in Thailand.  I have been on these uncaring tours, where Somchai and crew give everyone a mask, snorkel and a floatie vest, then sit there on the boat smoking, napping or just yaking with other tour workers. No oversight at all. 

Kurt | 22 August 2018 - 14:13:08

Perhaps a good idea to let have tourists who never been at a beach before to do a 1 day PADI snorkel course?
To many tourists die unneeded during snorkelling.

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