Lt Col Suchart Meelampong of the Kamala Police was notified of the incident at Layi Beach at an undisclosed time yesterday (Oct 29). The report was of a man drowning while enjoying underwater hunting at Layi Beach.
After an hour-long search the body of the diver – Karun Somsa, 59 years old, – was found washed to the shore and taken to Patong Hospital to determine the exact cause of death.
Kriengsak Boonlang, a lifeguard at Kamala Subdistrict Administrative Organisation (OrBorTor), explained that the report was initially of a missing person.
Having arrived at the scene, Mr Kriengsak found Mr Karun’s wife sitting at the beach exactly where her husband went into the water last time. The woman said that her spouse loved underwater hunting and earlier on that day had already caught a squid. Mr Karun then went for more catch but failed to return. Having spent an hour waiting, the woman raised the alarm.
When Mr Kriengsak arrived at the beach the search for the missing man was already underway. Half an hour later, local lifeguard Chakturong Chaipong found a buoy, presumably indicating the spot where the missing man was hunting, and a harpoon gun. Yet Mr Karun was nowhere around.
Mr Chakturong kept searching on his jet-ski until he received a report from local villagers, who were assisting in the search, that the body was discovered washed ashore by the waves. Mr Karun had his diving suit, mask, and fins on him – but no other gear.
Based on his experience working as a lifeguard, Mr Chakturong presumed that having encountered some sort of trouble Mr Karun got rid of his equipment, tied off the buoy and tried to swim to the shore but failed.
It is yet to be determined what went so tragically wrong during Mr Karun’s underwater hunt.