Polish national Mateusz Juszkiewicz, 26, and Werakan Siriprakon, 23, from Nakon Sawan, were last seen kayaking with friends off the beach.
The group hired four kayaks to explore the waters and small island just offshore Yanui Beach, but when the group returned ashore at about 6:30pm Mr Juszkiewicz and Ms Werakan were missing.
Police were told by Mr Juszkiewicz’s friends that Mr Juszkiewicz called them while they were on the way back, and that he said that he and Ms Werakan were still far away and not able to return to the shore. They lost contact after that.
Local residents raised the alarm with the local authorities, prompting a search involving Tourist Police, rescue volunteers and Navy personnel that continued late into the night.
The helicopter and boats will scour the waters and nearby islands off Phuket’s south and southwest coast for the missing couple, police reported this morning.