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Three charged for death of Japanese tourist slashed by dive boat propeller

PHUKET: Three people have been charged for the death of a Japanese tourist who was struck by a tour boat propeller during her first-ever dive at Koh Tachai in the Similan Islands National Park last Thursday (Jan 4).

tourism, accidents, death, marine, police,

The Phuket News

Monday 8 January 2018, 04:52PM

Police officers, including Tourist Police and Forensic Police, investigate Ms Saori’s death at the scene off Koh Tachai in the Similan Islands National Park in Phang Nga on Friday (Jan 5). Photo: Tourist Police
Police officers, including Tourist Police and Forensic Police, investigate Ms Saori’s death at the scene off Koh Tachai in the Similan Islands National Park in Phang Nga on Friday (Jan 5). Photo: Tourist Police

“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.



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Capt B | 09 January 2018 - 17:49:34

Stupid Idiots - It takes all kinds. These boys were only doing what they thought was accepted idiocy of the Farangs that teach them. Go ahead & do a Youtube search On PADI Live Boating.
The Thai Government / Phuket Marine Dept should BAN LIVE BOATING. 
The main engine, be it an outboard, inboard, longtail should be shut down @ all times whilst divers are in the water.
Have A Nice Day

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malczx7r | 09 January 2018 - 12:14:59

Just how stupid do you have to be to start your boat engine with divers in the water and you don't know where they are, that's akin to starting your car engine putting it in gear and closing your eyes and driving forward and hoping to not hit anyone! Well we all know the mentality here, 1-2nd most road deaths in the world and they don't even have snow or ice, imagine if it snowed here!...

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Kurt | 09 January 2018 - 11:03:27

A simple answer on a simple question.
The boat driver not start engines when divers are down and he doesn\\\\\\\'t know about their under water location.
The boat driver waits with starting engines until all divers are surfaced.
It is not about the length of the boat, it is about the diving safety protocol.

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Pauly44 | 09 January 2018 - 11:01:13

The instructor is to blame for losing the student however if the Thai captain of the boat wasn't 100% sure where all the divers were and he was in the vicinity of the dive area he should NEVER had started his engines and put them in gear, his actions caused the death, it's undeniable many stupid things happen in Thailand resulting in unnecessary deaths.

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Wiesel | 08 January 2018 - 23:34:05

...the Instructor lost the Student and the Instructor was diving with Beginner-Students at a Aerea where Boats can reach.The instructor is the first responsible person in this case. how a captain of a over 20 meter boat can know whats below his boat?? if everything is so stupid and bad here, why you are still here??

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Rich 44 | 08 January 2018 - 20:53:10

I read about a similar boat propeller slashing here a few months ago. I'll offer the same advice now as I did then.
I can't help think that a "Tourniquet", quickly tied around the top of the leg would have kept her from "Bleeding Out" and losing her life as her blood flowed out into the sea.
A rope, a belt, a Tourniquet Trauma Kit may have saved her by keeping the blo...

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Kurt | 08 January 2018 - 17:54:43

A stupid boat man using the engine while ( beginning) divers are below?
That is almost the same as murder 2nd degree by such a smurf.

And already offering B 1 million lousy thb? ooof! 
Quick offer, as they feel the claim can be much more, thai money came play!
That should be at least  3-4 million usa dollar.

Incompetence and stupidity has international wise a complete different compensati...

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