TRAT: A woman visiting from Spain and her male companion from France went missing in this eastern province after the two went swimming in stormy seas off Koh Chang's Lonely Beach on Sunday morning.
Termsak Sertsri, chief of Moo 1 village in tambon Ko Chang Tai, Ko Chang district, said that at about 7am he was alerted by local residents that two tourists had entered the sea off Lonely Beach, locally known as Tha Nam beach, at Moo 4 village in a strong storm with high waves.
The two tourists had yet to be identified.
Mr Termsak said a red flag had been erected at the beach, warning tourists not to go swimming in stormy seas.
On learning of the incident, the Ko Chang safety centre mobilised a number of rescue volunteers and local administrative officials to form a search and rescue team.
Team members were subsequently deployed on jet skis to look for the two tourists in an area about 300 metres from the shore, the village chief said.
At about 8.10am, the female Spanish tourist, 21, was found floating about 300 metres south of Lonely Beach. She was brought ashore and provided with first-aid treatment, but she was found to be without vital signs. The male French tourist, 22, was still missing.
Due to the strong wind and high waves, the search was called off at 11am. However, the rescue volunteers and officials continued to scan the waves with binoculars from the beach, Mr Termsak said.
The two tourists had stayed at Nature Beach Resort Hotel for three days. On Sunday morning, they told hotel staff that they would go out to watch the sun rise, the village chief said. But the two instead went to Lonely Beach, which is on the west side of the island.
Dusit Samutrakpong, chief of the Mu Ko Chang National Park, said the area is currently being lashed by rain and high waves. Tourists should be careful before entering the sea, especially where a warning red flag has been put up.