The man, now believed to be “Mr Piyanat”, “Aff”, 25 years old, from Lo Yung Subdistrict of Takua Thung District, Phang Nga.
Busaba Kammut, village chief of Baan Bang Chan, Moo 7, Takua Thung District, said she believes the man who jumped into the water was her son, Piyanat.
He had sent her a message via the LINE app earlier in the morning yesterday, but she did not get the chance to read it before the message was cancelled, she said.
Police investigating the incident recorded the message, adn Ms Busaba’s statement, as evidence before continuing the search.
However, it was not explained further why that would lead Ms Busaba to believe her son is the man missing.
Police have not commented on the identity of the man, despite having the motorbike in custody after recovering it from where it was parked halfway across the Thao Thepkrasattri Bridge.
Lt Col Santi Prakompran, Deputy Superintendent (Investigation) of the Khok Kloi Police, in Phang Nga, said his officers were first notified of the incident at 8am yesterday.
Officers arrived to find the red-black BMW motorcycle, registration number 1Kong-1141, parked halfway across the bridge.
Search teams comprising local fishermen and rescue workers from the Kusoldharm Phuket Foundation and from the Mai Khao Subdistrict Administrative Organization (OrBorTor) used boats to search the area, including under the bridge and for several hundred metres either side of the bridge, he said.
However, the man has yet to be found, Lt Col Santi confirmed.
Local resident Thavorn Sona-un, 58, said he was fishing with friends on the Sarasin Bridge when heard a loud splash in the water below.
“I thought it was a fish, but then I saw a man wearing a helmet in the water under the bridge being pulled by the current out towards Phang Nga Bay.”
The last Mr Thavorn saw of the man in the water was when he was already 100 metres from the bridge.
Local fishermen rushed out in boats to rescue the man, but when they arrived at the area where the man was last seen, he had already disappeared, Mr Thavorn said.
“They jumped into the water and searched, but were unable to find him,” Mr Thavorn added.
The search continues today.
The search for the missing man is the second search launched in two weeks after a person has jumped off one of the bridges at the northern end of Phuket into the fast-moving water below.
Buncha Suksunit, 25, a resident of Baan Pru Sompan in Moo 8, Tambon Thepkrasattri, parked his pickup truck halfway across Thao Srisoonthorn Bridge, leading off the island, and jumped over the side late on Nov 3.
Despite days of searching, his body was not recovered.