The man, who had entered Phuket under the Sandbox scheme launched last Thursday (July 1), was reported as missing in the early hours of yesterday morning by the manager of the SHA+ Naithonburi Beach Resort the tourist was staying at.
Hotel staff searched for the man along nearby Nai Thon beach and surrounding areas and contacted staff from other hotels close by for help but were unable to find him.
A security guard at a hotel nearby the Naithonburi Beach Resort stated he saw someone fitting the Norwegian man’s description as a passenger on a motorbike around 9am on Monday that he understood was heading to Cherng Talay.
As hotel staff were unable to locate the tourist after the search, the manager of the Naithonburi Beach Resort contacted the Phuket Sandbox Operation Center, as per Sandbox guidelines, to confirm the man missing.
The Phuket Sandbox Operation Center in turn alerted local police and the Norwegian Consulate in Phuket.
Lt Col Thammasan Bunsong of Wichit Police explained that police found the man at approximately 4:40am yesterday outside the Central Shopping mall in Kathu.
The man was exhausted, hungry and clearly disoriented when he was first found, said Col Thammasan. The tourist was only carrying his wallet and had left his mobile phone in his room at the hotel which no doubt added to the confusion, police said.
The tourist confirmed to police he is staying at the Naithonburi Beach Resort which tourist police then escorted him back to.
No further details were shared in regards to why the man had been missing although Phuket Provincial Police Commander Maj Gen Pornsak Nuannu stated it is believed the tourist suffers from mild dimentia which could have contributed to the situation.