Rawai Mayor Aroon Solos today (Jan 9) explained that Mr Somesan with Romanian friend Alexandru Florin Miron, 47, and Thai woman Saowalak Kanhawong all departed Nai Harn Beach on board Mr Somesan’s speedboat ‘Shonica’ at about 9am yesterday.
Mr Somesan and Mr Morin wanted to go diving off Koh Kaew Noi, he said.
Mr Somesan lives in Phuket with his wife and daughter, he noted.
Mr Somesan and Mr Morin completed a dive and safely returned to the boat, but when they tried to depart, they were unable to raise the anchor as it had become caught on a rock on the seabed below.
Mr Somesan then dived under the boat to free the anchor, reportedly at a depth of some 30 metres.
However, Mr Somesan had previously dived to a depth of only 18 metres, raising concerns whether he could complete the dive to free the anchor safely. He failed to return to the boat.
Mr Morin raised the alarm by calling wife, Nichkamol Theparak, 42, at around 12:45pm yesterday, asking for help to find the contact number for lifeguards in Rawai.
A search for Mr Somesan was launched immediately, with lifeguards, defence volunteers, rescue workers, officers from Rawai Municipality, Marine Police and personnel from the Royal Thai Navy Third Area Command all joining the search operation.
Local foreign divers have also joined the search efforts to locate Mr Somesan.
A search command centre has been set up at Yanui Beach, just north of Nai Harn
Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew arrived at the command centre yesterday evening to be briefed on the search efforts underway.
Governor Narong emphasised that all people should exercise caution while on or in the water. “There are still strong currents even though we are at the end of the [southwest] monsoon season,” he said.