The tragic death of 31-year-old Sheng Caoliang is likely to trouble Chinese envoys who have already expressed their growing concern about water safety on Phuket.
The disappearance on Sunday coincides with the drowning of Russian expat diving instructor Denis Lipatov, 39, off Phuket on Saturday followed by the drowning of Chinese tourist Lin Hunhing, 30, on a day-trip off Phuket yesterday.
Phuket authorities have agreed with the British Embassy's suggestion of a water safety summit on Phuket. As the local bureaucracy turns in slow motion, the toll of drownings continues to mount.
Year-round beach destinations are supposed to provide as many warnings and precautions as possible but the Phuket community appears in no haste to deal with a drowning toll approaching 30 deaths so far in 2013.
When Sheng Caoliang went into the water despite the red flags flying along Karon beach on Sunday, he was accompanied by a friend.
The two men got into difficulties and the lifeguards responded. They managed to pull one of the Chinese tourists from the surf, but Sheng Caoliang disappeared.
His friend was revived on the beach and later admitted to Patong Hospital. Sheng Caoliang's body is in Vachira Phuket Hospital.
Phuket has a lifeguard team that is better trained than ever before. They are not equipped to deal alone with an increasing number of tourists from non-swimming countries.
Water safety experts say a community approach involving multiple warnings from the time tourists land at Phuket International Airport is required to prevent more drownings.
The number of deaths so far this year without a community strategy being imposed to deal with continuing tragedies shows that local authorities fail to realise the consequences of Phuket losing its reputation for attention to safety.