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Tourist dies scuba diving in Phi Phi, Thailand



Phi Phi

A tour company, a boat operator and a British dive professional are all in hot water following the death of a tourist in their care while scuba diving in Phi Phi national marine park yesterday.

Chinese national Minghua Jiang, 62, was recovered unconscious at about noon while scuba diving for the first time near Koh Poda (Koh Yawasam), which is part of Noppharat Thara – Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park.

Mr Jiang, who was on a scuba diving tour with Ao Nang-based Scuba Addicts, was one of two divers accompanied by British dive instructor Geoff Branigan, explained a spokesman from the Krabi Marine Police.

“Mr Branigan left Mr Jiang underwater alone when he accompanied another diver to the surface, who was suffering ear pain due to issues with equalizing at depth,” said the spokesman.

“When Mr Branigan went back underwater, Mr Jiang was not were he had left him. After a search, Mr Jiang was found unconscious.”

Mr Jiang was given emergency first aid and taken to Krabi Hospital. He was later pronounced dead, reported Col Anurak.

Doctors have yet to determine the cause of death, confirmed police.

Investigations revealed that the dive boat’s registration had expired in November last year.

The captain, Matsin Borna, was charged with operating a longtail boat with an expired registration and operating a dive boat without permission, as well as taking people to dive in a no-diving zone.

Diving in the Phi Phi archipelago was limited to 18 dive sites, following a speedboat maiming two Russian divers (story here).

“We also discovered that Mr Branigan did not have a work permit, so he was charged with working illegally in Thailand. The company he was working for was charged for illegally employing a foreigner,” Col Anurak said.

The tour company and employees could also face charges of recklessness causing death, depending on the outcome of inspections of the dive equipment used and the testimonies of other witnesses, said Col Anurak.


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Marine Life & Conservation

World Oceans Day: Fourth Element and Love The Oceans join forces




Fourth Element, a leading provider of high-quality dive gear, and Love The Oceans, a non-profit organization dedicated to marine conservation, have announced their new partnership on World Oceans Day, June 8th, 2023. This collaboration represents a shared commitment to protecting our oceans and promoting sustainable practices within the diving community.

Love The Oceans is widely recognized for their exceptional work in marine conservation and their dedication to community development in Mozambique. The organization’s approach involves not only protecting marine wildlife and habitats but also empowering local communities to become guardians of their own environment.

Photo: Kaushiik Subramaniam

They place a strong emphasis on empowering women in the field of marine conservation. The team actively supports and encourages women to participate in their research programs, providing opportunities for training, leadership development, and career advancement, inspiring a new generation of female scientists and conservationists.

Love The Oceans seek out passionate individuals within local communities and provide them with training and resources. Fourth Element will then support these champions to become divers and ambassadors of the ocean, spreading awareness, implementing sustainable practices, and inspiring others to join the movement.

Photo: Mario Guilamba

“We are thrilled to embark on this partnership with Love The Oceans,” said Jim Standing, co-founder of Fourth Element. “Our shared commitment to sustainable practices and marine conservation makes this collaboration a natural fit. We believe that by joining forces, we can amplify our efforts to protect our oceans and inspire positive change within the diving community.”

Francesca Trotman, Founder and CEO of Love The Oceans, expressed her excitement about the collaboration, stating, “We’re thrilled to be working with Fourth Element, a brand that aligns with our values and ethos. This partnership will enable us to get more local community members scuba diving in Mozambique, monitoring our reef systems, and striving for better protection of our marine world. Working together, we’re conserving Mozambique’s coastline for generations to come.”

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