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Phuket’s Marine Police are still searching for an American diver who went missing from a liveaboard boat bound for Similans. The scuba diver has been missing since Saturday morning.
The diver, Joshua Michael Devine, was a civilian IT operative who was working at the U.S. military base in Kuwait. The 36-year-old was on a diving trip with his wife and 22 other divers. His wife, who is a Thai native, said the couple had spent two weeks in their Pattaya apartment before embarking on the scuba diving trip. Three years ago, the couple had made a similar trip to the Similan Islands.
Mr. Devine’s wife stated that he had been drinking the night before he went missing. Reportedly, Mr. Devine arrived back at the cabin at 4AM very drunk and making noise. After Mr. Devine began shouting, two friends escorted him out of the cabin to try and calm him down.
Approximately 15 minutes later, one of the men returned to the room to see if Mr. Devine had returned. The friend stated that Mr. Devine wanted to be alone. They searched the boat, but were unable to find Mr. Devine.
The captain of the boat failed to report Mr. Devine as a missing person until 10AM. There is still no confirmation as to why it took the captain so long to make the report.
Panya Chaichana, Phuket Marine Police chief, said police marked the point of disappearance at 17 nautical miles from Bang Tao Beach. A vessel was sent out immediately to perform a five mile sweep of the area. Another boat was sent out on Sunday, and the Navy has been contacted to help perform an aerial search for Mr. Devine.
In the recreational scuba diving industry, a liveaboard service offers its guests to stay on board for one or more nights, unlike a day boat operation.