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March 2016    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 31, No. 3   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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A Spate of Dive Accidents in Thailand

from the March, 2016 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

The first two weeks of February was bad for scuba diving accidents at Phi Phi Island in Thailand. First, two Russian divers sustained serious and life-changing injuries when they each were struck by the propeller of a speedboat while scuba diving near Nopparat beach, after which authorities reacted by setting up markers for eighteen designated dive zones including areas at Phi Phi, Samui, Krabi and Pattaya.

However, less than ten days later, a Chinese diver was recovered unconscious while diving for the first time near Koh Poda and later pronounced dead. On a scuba diving tour with dive operator Scuba Addicts and one of a pair accompanied by British instructor Geoff Branigan, he was left alone while the other diver was accompanied to the surface with equalizing problems.

It has transpired that the dive boat's registration had expired and was operating without permission and in a zone not designated for diving. It has also been discovered that Branigan was working illegally without a work permit, and the company that employed him was also charged with illegally employing a foreigner. Both face charges of recklessness causing death.

Later in February a diver drowned while diving the wreck of the HTMS Chang, a popular dive site near Koh Chang Island. A 63-year-old Russian man, not as yet named, was missing at the post-dive head count and was later found floating at the surface. It is believed that he might have removed his tank in order to enter the confines of the wreck. (source: Bangkok Post).

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