“All three men – the boat captain, the dive instructor and the tour guide – have been charged for recklessness causing grievous bodily harm and death,” Capt Ekkachai Siri of the Phuket Tourist Police told The Phuket News today (Jan 8).
“The Kuraburi Police (in Phang Nga) are currently considering other charges,” he added.
The tourist, 37-year-old Yoshida Saori, died from blood loss after she suffered multiple deep lacerations to her right thigh, Capt Ekkachai explained.
Ms Saori was rushed to Baan Nam Khem Pier, where rescue worker Sornsawan Boonsorntham from the Kuapi Sawn Maek Foundation assisted in her emergency transport to Takuapa Hospital at about 4:30pm.
“At that time she was still conscious and talking to members of the rescue team, but that’s all I know,” Mr Sorsawan told The Phuket News on Friday (Jan 5).
Capt Ekkachai then today confirmed, “She was later pronounced dead at Takuapa Hospital, in Phang Nga.”
Ms Saori was on a three-day beginner course with South Siam Diver Co Ltd. So, Capt Ekkachai said.
“The dive instructor said that it was her first dive, to a depth of only 10 metres,” he said.
“She went into the water with three other beginners and the dive instructor. She became separated from the group and was struck by the propeller,” he added.
The boat was drifting and the captain wanted to keep the boat in the same position, Capt Ekkachai explained.
“So they started the engine to move the boat, and Ms Saori was struck by the propeller,” he added.
The dive tour company, South Siam Divers Co Ltd, will not face any charges, Capt Ekkachai confirmed.
“As the tour company was not directly involved in this incident, they will not be charged,” Capt Ekkachai said.
“I have contacted Ms Saori’s husband and he is travelling from Japan now to collect her body,” he added.
The tour company’s insurance provider has paid B1 million as compensation for Ms Saori’s death, Capt Ekkachai confirmed.