Dive-crew charged after Phi Phi death

Diving News

Dive-crew charged after Phi Phi deathTwo diving instructors based on a Thai island have been charged with negligence following the death of first-time diver Alok Kumar Shukla, a tourist from India.

Shukla’s death on New Year’s Eve was reported on Divernet on 2 January.

Police on Koh Phi Phi have not named the instructors, but they told the Phuket News that Shukla had returned to the dive-boat after his first dive and taken off his equipment but was still wearing around 4kg of weights.

When a large wave rocked the boat Shukla had fallen overboard and been carried down into deep water.

Three people had jumped into the choppy sea after him but had been unable to locate him.

According to Georg Kereit, the manager of the dive-centre (which he asked the paper not to name), it was only when three scuba-divers followed that Shukla was found and recovered to the boat.

CPR and oxygen were administered and Shukla was taken to a local hospital, where he was declared dead. The hospital has yet to confirm that his death was by drowning.

Kereit told the paper that it was standard practice in scuba-diving after exiting the water to “go to a spot where you can sit down and your scuba-cylinder will be secure.

“You then loosen shoulder- and waist-straps and get out of the unit. The next step is to stand up and remove your weightbelt… it was in this five-second window while removing his weightbelt that he fell.”

Asked about future safety precautions, he raised the possibility of more railings being installed, and non-certified divers being barred from sitting on the edge of the boat.


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