Norwegian diver killed off Koh Tao

Norwegian diver killed off Koh Tao

KOH PHANGAN — A Norwegian woman tourist was killed after her head was struck by the propeller of a boat in the sea off Tao Thong beach on Monday afternoon.

Silji Macdison, 22, was scuba diving near Tao Thong island in tambon Koh Tao of Koh Phangan district when she was struck by the propeller of a trawler modified as a commercial tour boat owned by Phura Villa.

Witnesses said Macdison began to surface without checking a boat was above her. The propeller blades hit her in the head, causing her to sink and tumble feet up. Her left leg then struck the prop.

Others divers tried to search for her and were able to recover her body after about 10 minutes. 

Macdison succumbed to her injuries while being transported by boat to Koh Tao Tambon Hospital.

Koh Phangan police investigator Pol Lt  Jakkapan Kaewkao said Macdison was on a diving course with Scuba Junction dive shop -- whose motto, according to its website is "Safety and Quality First" -- and the boat, which belonged to a different company, was idling with its engine on after unloading another group of divers in the nearby water.

The boat driver identified as Nathakorn Meekwarn, 23, did not know that some tourists were diving at the spot where his boat was, he said.

Pol Lt  Jakkapan said he was investigating furthering into how the incident happened and to see if Mr Nathakorn was careless and caused death. They would also check if instructor was using an inflatable marker to signal their ascent.

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