''Everything happened in front of her,'' the consul-general said, calling for substantial compensation. ''She witnessed it all. This is extremely sad.''
Chen Peng, 36, died after being struck by a speedboat propeller in the water at scenic Pileh Bay, near Phi Phi on June 19. The previous day, Ran Li, 23, drowned on a day-trip outing to Racha island from Phuket.
Consul-general Qin Jian was speaking after saying goodbye to Phuket Governor Maitree Intrusud at Phuket Provincial Hall in Phuket City yesterday.
Having visited Phuket seven times as consul-general based in Sonkhla, Qin Jian is moving on: ''Safety remains our Number One concern for tourists visiting Phuket, especially the number of drownings.
''Many Chinese visitors coming to Phuket do not know how to use snorkels and also do not speak the Thai language.''
He listed two other problems: thefts from places such as luggage racks in buses and the illegal ''taxes'' sometimes demanded by officers at the Immigration counters at Phuket International Airport.
''Taxi and tuk-tuk fares on Phuket remain extremely high for Chinese tourists on Phuket,'' he said. ''But there will be more coming in future. Between 3.5 million and four million Chinese are expected to visit Thailand this year.''
He urged media outlets to warn tourists about the dangers on Phuket, especially those in the water.
A plan to cope with the large number of Chinese tourists visiting Phuket by establishing a consul on the island is still underway, he said.
A group of ambassadors and senior embassy representatives are scheduled to meet Thailand's Tourism and Sport Minister in Bangkok on Friday to discuss safety issues on Phuket. Four people drowned at Phuket beaches between Thursday and Sunday.