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Search continues for missing Romanian diver

Search continues for missing Romanian diver

PHUKET: Search teams are continuing to scour the waters around Koh Kaew Noi, south of Phuket, for missing 46-year-old Romanian national Sebastian Emil Somesan, who failed to return from a dive to free a snagged boat anchor yesterday (Jan 8).

marineSafety
By Eakkapop Thongtub

Monday 9 January 2023, 02:27PM


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.

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maverick | 10 January 2023 - 15:16:01

Clearly not experienced for all the reasons you mention at that depth assuming the 30m reported is correct he would have no more than 10 mins no deco if they had just completed other dives - the currents would be running strong and how to free an anchor in a current with a boat attached to it - cut the rope and come back for it with the right equipment and an experienced certified buddy 

JohnC | 10 January 2023 - 09:08:20

If he was an experienced diver he would have known that diving that profile was asking for trouble. Better to have cut the anchor rope. Anchors can be replaced, lives can't.

 

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