Lakkhana Sakunphong, from Krabi, was among 26 divers working together under a project by the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) Phuket office to install an artificial reef at Kon Kae Bay, The Phuket News was told.
The dive team were working under the direction of four Phuket DMCR officers.
“They departed from Panwa Cape (in Phuket) at 8:30am,” said one volunteer driver, who asked not to be named.
“At about noon Ms Lakkhana’s oxygen tank was almost empty. She returned to the surface with us, and was still talking while we were on the surface,” the diver said.
“We swam toward our boat, the Sangthong, which was waiting nearby, but she fainted before we got there,” the diver added.
Ms Lakkhana was brought on board the Sangthong, but remained unconscious and staff on board were unable to find a pulse.
“People on the boat administered CPR and gave her oxygen while we brought her back to Chalong Pier,” the diver added.
Rescue workers and medical staff from the Accident & Emergency (A&E) Department of the Chalong Hospital (which is still under construction) were on hand to provide assistance when the boat arrived at Chalong Pier at about 3pm.
However, Ms Lakkhana was pronounced dead upon arrival at the Chalong Hospital A&E centre minutes later.
Her body was taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket Town to determine the cause of death, The Phuket News was told.
Watcharin Thintalang, Director of the Phuket DMCR office, declined to comment to The Phuket News about the circumstances surrounding Ms Lakkhana’s death.