The Phuket-based Thai Maritime Enforcement Command Centre under the Royal Thai Navy Third Area Command (ThaiMECC 3) was notified of the first discovery off Rang Kai Beach on the southeast side of Koh Racha Noi at 12.35pm yesterday (Dec 29).
The information was provided by Apiwat Kongsawat, a local skipper who found the bodies in the sea and tied them to a mooring buoy to prevent them from drifting away while officials were on their way.
The bodies were retrieved by T.233 boat from the Royal Thai Navy Third Area Command at around 5.15pm. At 6.45pm the patrol ship returned to Phuket and the corpses were handed over to relevant officials for identification and determining the cause of death. Initially officials only confirmed that the two dead men were foreign males.
In a bizarre development, at exactly the same time today (12.35pm), the ThaiMECC 3 received another report of two bodies spotted either on Racha Noi or in the immediate vicinity.
T.233 was tasked with checking the information and locating the bodies would it be another foreign couple and not a communication error. The source of information was not specified in this, second case.
The patrol ship left the Navy base at 2.35. The search was to be conducted some 20 miles (presumably, nautical) southeast of Phuket. As of 6.30pm, there have been no updates.