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Korean and diving instructor drown in Phuket

Korean and diving instructor drown in Phuket

PHUKET: A South Korean man and a Thai diving instructor who came to his rescue drowned while diving off Koh Racha Yai in Phuket on Saturday (Oct 19).

By Bangkok Post

Sunday 20 October 2019, 09:28AM

The bodies of a Korean man and a Thai diving instructor who drowned were taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital on Saturday (Oct 19). Photo: Achadtaya Chuenniran / Bangkok Post

The bodies of a Korean man and a Thai diving instructor who drowned were taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital on Saturday (Oct 19). Photo: Achadtaya Chuenniran / Bangkok Post

The incident occurred near Ao Lah on the island in tambon Rawai of Muang district, said Col Somkiat Sarasit, deputy investigation chief at the Chalong police station.

Police found no traces of a struggle on the bodies of the two men.

According to a police investigation, Sunghyun Cho, 37, and 39 others boarded the dive boat Chok Somboon to view coral reefs off Koh Racha Yai on Saturday morning.

The tourist was scuba diving with Pongsathorn Madnui, 34, an instructor with Island Tour Wander Co, who was diving along his side at the time. 


While diving, the South Korean man experienced a shock and part of his compressed-air tank came loose. Mr Pongsathon rushed to help him, but both men collapsed while emerging to the surface.

They were pulled onto the boat, which took them to shore at Chalong pier before they were sent to the Accident & Emergency section of the yet-to-open Chalong Hospital. Doctors tried unsuccessfully to save their lives.

Police plan to investigate further and coordinate with the South Korean embassy to inform relatives about the death of the visitor.

Read original story here.

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Rorri_2 | 25 October 2019 - 06:20:35

Wiesel... the article discribes the instructor as a " Thai" diving instructor, Kurt has every right to use the same description, this does not signify any anti thai sentiment, except in you twisted mind.

Kurt | 24 October 2019 - 22:11:39

Seems Wiesel not yet red the article in which the RTP captain and the RTP Colonel gave contradictory statements . So far not sure or the thai was a dive master or a dive instructor. No Dive Card yet discovered/brought up to confirm the real function description. Wiesel, stop slapping around with anti thai animosity where there is not such, except in your head + your anti Kurt obsession.

Kurt | 24 October 2019 - 12:42:08

DeK, did you read the international and local press articles about the international beach life saving conference in Durban? Specially the speeches about Phuket thai beach life guards?  It's all thai blaming ( in your words) without doubts. I not red your defensive reaction on that. And DeK, when in doubt, I ask questions, not blame.

Wiesel | 24 October 2019 - 11:27:57

Kurt because your comment shows clearly that your knowledge ist pure theory and imagination. Dream on but stay away if you ever see a panic diver because mostly it is not like schedule a or b like in the book . And your comment: Question/starting point,  was thai dive instructor a  real licensed/certified thai dive instructor? He was not a thai Dive Master,right? - is clearly Anti-Thai !

Kurt | 23 October 2019 - 20:41:05

@ Wiesel, how do you know that I was never in such situation? Actually during my 37 yrs of scuba diving I saved twice the life of another buddy diver, thx to my training as Padi Rescue Diver. And I don't blame thai. I wrote about a quiet cover up about what really happend. as the instructor (?) was thai.

DeKaaskopp | 23 October 2019 - 16:56:15

@Wiesel It's Mr.K's favorite motto:"When in doubt,blame the Thai's !"

Wiesel | 23 October 2019 - 09:32:33

Wiseman Kurt, you never ever was part in a real uw-panic-situation. And again you blame thais!! Just shut up 

Kurt | 22 October 2019 - 12:10:25

If the boat boy witness what was happening below surface than dive instructor + trainee were not very deep. Why dive instructor did not inflate partly his BCD? Was the dive instructor a licensed dive instructor?  If he was thai we will never hear the real story from authorities. Korean body ( foreign) send home. Case closed.

Kurt | 22 October 2019 - 12:02:30

Licensed Dive Instructors are trained to handle a panicking dive trainee. During a dive they always are in dive position to keep constant a eye on dive student. Stay out of range grabbing arms. Approach student from behind and put regulator octopus mouth piece in his mouth. Anyway, with a unlicensed dive trainee you never deeper than 12 metres. Calm him down and keep a hold at 5 meter level. 

Wiesel | 21 October 2019 - 20:30:50

Korean had a Regulator-Problem, grabbed in panic the Instr. and both drowned. Thats what i got told. Boatboy was witness but his help came to late.

Kurt | 21 October 2019 - 16:00:32

Question/starting point,  was thai dive instructor a  real licensed/certified thai dive instructor? He was not a thai Dive Master,right? Story of 'shock' and PARTLY air tank came loose is funny. A air tanks comes loose or not loose.
The dive instructor has octopus air line to provide assistance to student when there is a problem. What really happend? Sounds to be a thai cover up story.

CaptainJack69 | 21 October 2019 - 12:11:44

Yeah, more details are needed in reporting on this tragedy. Crucially, was this a certified diver, a student or a try-diver? And how many others were in the group? A try dive should be 1-on-1 with the instructor whereas a certified diver is responsible for themselves. We don't need any more bad publicity so lets hope there was no negligence by the Thai 'instructor'.

Wiesel | 20 October 2019 - 11:21:37

Certified Diver or Dive-Course? 1:1 Ratio and instructor drown?? Wow

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