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Volunteer diver dies after installing artificial reef off Phuket

PHUKET: Police are hoping to confirm the cause of death of a 35-year-old volunteer diver who fainted soon after resurfacing from assisting in a government project to install an artificial reef at Racha Yai Island, south of Phuket, yesterday (June 18).

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By Eakkapop Thongtub

Monday 19 June 2017, 12:20PM


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.

BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET

“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.

 

 

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Capt B | 20 June 2017 - 23:16:40

Arterial Gas Embolism.

Kurt | 20 June 2017 - 13:21:58

A certified scuba diver makes prior the dive a dive plan, this includes the time needed to rise and remain some time at least 5 meters below the surface in order to avoid the 'bends' before going to surface.
It is easy to check the woman's dive plan. Right?
Coming up with a 'almost' empty tank is something a experienced certified diver always avoid.

Christy Sweet | 20 June 2017 - 10:45:35

Wasn't there a spate of diver deaths a few years back from bad air in the tanks with one poorly regulated facility responsible?  I seem to remember a jerry-rigged air compressor and Co2 were involved. Caveat Emptor Thailandia !

Discover Thainess | 19 June 2017 - 20:47:49

How sad, poor lady. Her family must be heartbroken, thoughts are with them. For accuracy of reporting you don't dive with oxygen in your tank, you dive with either compressed natural air or with enriched nitrogen.

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