Rescue workers found Mr Wei’s body floating about 150 metres from the beach in front Kamala Police Station at about 8am today (June 14).
A search for Mr Wei last night was forced to be called off due to strong waves and the fall of night, said Lt Col Somnuek Damkaew of the Kamala Police.
Mr Wei entered the surf with friends He Xianyu, 18, and Zhao Shihao, 23, just before sunset yesterday. However, all three were soon swept away from the beach by a strong current.
One Phuket lifeguard told police, “The three went to swimming at about 6pm. They ignored reg flags warning (not to enter the surf).
“They were 50 metres from the shore when a big wave hit them. They shouted for help and tried to swim back to the land,” he said.
Col Somneuk reported, “Phuket lifeguards Sutthikiet Detsuwand and Thanin Naknuan rescued Mr He and Mr Zhao, but they could not find Mr Wei.
The lifeguards notified police that Mr Wei was still missing at 6:35pm, he added.
Kusoldharm rescue divers and officers from the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) Kamala office launched a search for Mr Wei, but were forced to halt their search due to the strong waves and the fall of night, Col Somneuk explained.
The search resumed at 6am today.
Mr Wei’s body was taken to Patong Hospital, where friends and relatives identified it.
Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong arrived at Kamala Beach at 10am today. He thanked everyone involved for their rescue and search efforts.
Gov Norraphat noted that a meeting will be held at Phuket DDPM headquarters in Phuket Town tomorrow (June 15) to discuss ways of preventing people from drowning at Phuket beaches.
While Gov Norraphat was speaking with the press at Kamala Beach, Phuket lifeguards further north were busy rescuing two American tourists at Surin Beach.
The tourists, named as Mr Todd Michael Akin and Miss Kristina Elaine Gardemal, both from Texas, are both safe and have been taken to Thalang Hospital as a precaution, The Phuket News was told.
The couple arrived in Phuket yesterday and were enjoying their first day of their holidays in Phuket, police reported.