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Police are searching for a boat captain who is alleged to have hit a female diver with an engine propeller while she was taking part in a sea clean operation yesterday (Aug 31) at Koh Kai Nok in Phang Nga, north of Phuket.
Officials from the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources were notified at 2pm yesterday that 31-year-old sea cleaning volunteer, Ms Patcharin Petlohlein, had been taken to Vachira Hospital Phuket after being slashed by a boat’s propeller during a sea cleaning dive near Koh Kai Nok.
Mr Noppadon, an official from the Phang Nga Provincial Natural Resources and Environment Office, said that Ms Patcharin had already received treatment for injuries sustained to her shoulder, right hand and leg and was recovering in hospital. However, he also said that she would require further treatment.
“Ms Patcharin was one of many volunteers from the Phang Nga Provincial Natural Resources and Environment Office that had joined a sea clean activity in the area.
“A group of volunteers who found Ms Patcharin with her injuries said that while she was picking up rubbish in the area a passing tour boat struck her with its engine propeller, the boat didn’t stop, it just kept on going,” Mr Noppadon explained.
“We have not yet been able to find out what boat was involved in this incident, but we believe it is a speedboat that brings tourists to Koh Khai Nok. We have reported the incident to Koh Yao police and they are investigating the matter.
“A lot of divers and swimmers have been hit by boat propellers in this area between Phang Nga and Phuket. Officials have attempted to solve the issue, but they have not yet found a way of preventing it,” he added.