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Chalong police received a call at around midday on Tuesday in which it was stated that a Korean tourist had fallen unconscious while on diving trip to Koh Hae and was being transported to Chalong Pier.
The victim, 36-year-old Hyunju Ahn, was initially taken to Phuket City Hospital but transferred to Vachira Hospital where she was pronounced death on arrival.
Ms Hyunju’s husband, Mr.Minchul Shin, 33, went to Chalong Police Station with a member of staff from Nikorn Marine, the tour company they were on the trip with, to gave an account of the incident.
Mr Minchul told police that they left Chalong Pier at 7am. When they arrived at Koh Hae, Ms Hyunju and her husband got into the water when Ms Hyunju suddenly gave a signal that she was having problems.
She was pulled onto the boat but collapsed and fell unconscious. First aid was given to Ms Hyunju prior to being taken to Chalong Pier where an ambulance was waiting.
Pol Capt Wuttiwat Leangboonjinda said that Mr Minchul believed his wife suffered a heart attack when she was in the water, but he did add that she showed no signs of being unwell prior to the incident. He was unaware that she had any other illness.
Phuket Tourism and Sport office chief Santi Pawai said, “I am heading out today to meet with the dive company to discuss insurance coverage for the victim.
“It was not clear from the autopsy report that was shown to me what the cause of death was because doctors found no traces of water in the victim’s lungs, so she did not drown.
“Doctor will check to see if the cause of death was related to any illness that her husband was not aware of.
“We cannot blame the dive company every time someone dies on a trip. We have to investigate to find the truth.
“Try diving is risky and these people who sign up for the trip know lof the dangers involved.
“They signed a consent form which states they are solely responsible for their own life, and they also provide a list of all medical problems they have so that the dive company can decide whether or not to let them go on the trip.”