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The dead scuba diver's watch and notes listing depths of her dive

Scuba Diver Found Dead at 11 Metre Depth

Saturday, November 28, 2015
PHUKET: The body of a young Chinese scuba diver was recovered from a depth of 11metres off the Similan islands north of Phuket yesterday, with details about her death yet to be explained.

Rescuers carried Lin Zhang, 23, to the surface where she failed to respond to resuscitation then to the nearest hospital at Thai Muang, in Phang Nga province, not far from the popular holiday dive centre of Khao Lak.

The young woman, diving with friends from the vessel Peter Pan with the Similan Seven Sea Club, was found by divers from Khao Lak Scuba Adventures about 2.30pm off Bon island, according to friends.

Bon island is part of the Similans national park, which is usually popular with divers at this time of the year.

The diver was floating face-down and her mouthpiece was not in place. She appeared to have vomited underwater.

Her dive watch last recorded a final depth of 11.2 metres. Much of the dive was spent at nine metres.

Others on the boat said she disappeared after having lunch, on the third dive of the day.

She had previously made 20 dives, including three on Wednesday.

A speedboat carried Ms Zhang back to the Andaman coast and she was taken to Thai Muang Hospital. In late afternoon, examining doctors said she had been dead for approximately six hours.

She had a tattoo of six small birds on her shoulder and appeared to have been diving dressed in a piece of headgear that had two yellow tiger's ears and a yellow and black tiger tail.

An autopsy is likely to be considered to determine the cause of her death.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


For a diver to just disappear like that and turn up dead one can rightfully assume the buddy principle was not being adhered to.

Every diver is supposed to have a dive buddy assigned and they are to watch over each other. Furthermore a dive master or instructor is to lead a group of divers, optimally not more than 6 in total and both guide and supervise them all.

I would be asking who was the assigned dive buddy of this person and if no such assignments were made, then the dive staff should be put to the wringer.

Posted by Herbert on November 28, 2015 09:11

Editor Comment:

We can't make any assumptions, Herbert. Why not, for once, wait until you know all the facts? RIP, young woman.


Maybe bad gas (Compressed Air).
Nausea= Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.
Has the gas left in the diver's scuba bottle been analysed ?
Has the gas from the Air Compressor / HP Charging bottle bank been analysed ?

Posted by Capt Durkin on November 28, 2015 10:23



Posted by Smithy on November 28, 2015 12:11

Editor Comment:

We understand how the system is supposed to work but we also know circumstances differ in every case of tragedy.

You won't be posted here again.


what happened to the buddy system ?

Posted by Michael on November 28, 2015 15:01

Editor Comment:

We will learn that in time.


There are some very important questions to be asked here.

1. Where was her dive buddy? No buddy = no dive, VVNB.
2. Where was the dive master who checked all his/her divers off the boat?
3. Was her air tank valve open or closed when found?
4. Why was she not noted as missing when the dive was completed?
5. Did her original boat move from the dive spot before she was counted as missing?
6. Did her original dive boat not send down a rescue team to search for her?
7. What colour were lips on surfacing and were her fingernails broken?
Has everybody on board been questioned?
8. Has PADI been informed?
Hang, these are just questions I can think of asking.

RIP young lady.

Posted by Robin on November 28, 2015 19:01

Editor Comment:

We've had some interesting comments that are, unfortunately, hearsay and can't be published. Let's hope the answers are provided soon.


If you vomit underwater it would be extremely difficult to not take in seawater which if swallowed makes you cough and generally feel like suffocating. If you have something in your mouth at the time this would makes the situation worse and very difficult to control. If you vomit you have to take you breather out. If not held and presuming one was vertical the breather could then drop behind you if the current makes it. Then to regain breathing without taking in seawater and then not to be able to find your breather is a very difficult situation. All divers should be taught and tested for this I was but if vomiting it would be very stressful under water and definitely not easy to keep calm. Without implying any racism here but there seems a very high percentage of Chinese deaths in the sea is this because they form the most tourists who swim or dive or they have never been taught to swim and therefore if they learn quickly on holiday they do not relax in the water. If the later clearly there needs to be additional monitoring of newly taught Chinese. Most of the deaths also seem young people making it even more urgent a solution to avoid such high number is found. RIP young lady hopefully you have gone to a better place than here on Earth.

Posted by Terrible Shame on November 28, 2015 19:49


was she a certified diver?

Posted by Shwe on November 29, 2015 05:03



Posted by slickmelb on November 29, 2015 06:05

Editor Comment:

No interest here is having readers quote ''facts'' from unreliable sources, slickmelb.


@ Terrible Shame

You are clearly not a diver.

Even the basic Open water diver course teaches how to react if vomiting. You vomit through the regulator.

Furthermore regulator recovery is also one of the very basics a dive course.

Had you been a diver, you would also know every diver has 2 regulators, the other being bright yellow and placed within easy reach on your BCD. The use of this "octopus" is also practiced during basic dive education.

Posted by Herbert on November 29, 2015 07:52



Posted by Capt Durkin on November 29, 2015 07:58

Editor Comment:

Speculation about the circumstances of this tragedy is unreasonable. Best wait for the authorities to investigate and report. RIP, young woman.


Dear Mr Editor,

Posted by Capt Durkin on November 29, 2015 10:22

Editor Comment:

Any assistance you wish to provide should be passed on directly to the investigators. We can't publish suspicions or allegations by anonymous online commenters.


Rare a report generates so much speculation interest and moderated comments look forward to updates Ed

Posted by slickmelb on November 29, 2015 14:36

Editor Comment:

All divers will be waiting with interest to see what happened in this case. Diving is a safe sport. When deaths occur, we need to know with precision an d accuracy what happened, to make sure the sport remains safe.

Guesswork? Stuff passed our way from other ''sources''? Don't give us that crap, please. RIP, young woman.


Mr Editor, ( you not have to publish this).
I mostly comment as one of the first, I not 'parrot' popular comments. From other readers mostly I receive a 'agree' regarding my comments.

About this scuba dive tragedy I commented as a master scuba diver.
Now I read all the other comments, they all, one by one, wrote what I already all together wrote in my first comment( you not placed).
So I did add value.
You wrote about non issues as tattoos, etc, but until now you not wrote the poor woman was already dead for 6 hours before she was taken out of the water ( according the doctors in the hospital were she was taken to)
Kind regards, Kurt

Posted by Kurt on November 29, 2015 14:51

Editor Comment:

I suggest you reread the article, Kurt, especially the part where it says: ''A speedboat carried Ms Zhang back to the Andaman coast and she was taken to Thai Muang Hospital. In late afternoon, examining doctors said she had been dead for approximately six hours.''

You missed that bit, huh?

To rely on any information from any anonymous commenter would be a mistake because guesswork remains guesswork.

Every tragedy is different. It has been our practice to wait to see what the authorities have to say for two reasons: (1) families are the ones who need to know first and (2) guesswork is a waste of time.

I don't care whether you invented scuba diving. Your opinion remains guesswork and adds no value.


This makes me so frickin mad!! A young lady is DEAD! How hard can it be to have three or four experienced divers in the water to safeguard tourist divers?
Taught my 50 yo now ex MIL to swim in our pool in Cairns..Took her on a snorkeling trip out on the barrier reef..water pretty rough ???FIVE scuba divers in the water at all times.

Posted by david on November 29, 2015 16:46


Reading the dive profile (next to her dive computer)
she had the incident at 2m depth stuck/staying there for 10 minutes!
then sank in 1 minute to sand at 9m depth for 5 minutes, and finally at 11m for the last 10 minutes.
ie the accident happend in the first 2 metres.
Will be interested to read the Dive company's report of the incident.

Posted by Gary on November 29, 2015 19:07


Thank you for your re-comment, mr Editor.
Obviously you are not a experienced scuba diver.
My comment ( you not published) was no guess work.
It was a comment from a Padi Master scuba diver with a Padi Rescue diver certification.
It were all general scuba dive facts, and the facts make this horrible drama is still with many questions.

Your writing about 'inventing scuba diving' is a bit over the hill, a bit drama you ventilated. Sorry.

A bit more respect please for people who know more about scuba diving than you do, Thanks.

Now wonder or we will hear more from PW about: How and why this could happened.
With respect.

Posted by Kurt on November 30, 2015 11:13

Editor Comment:

Unless you were on this dive and witnessed the incident, Kurt, you are wasting the time of all of us with ''expert'' knowledge that has no relevance. I don't care if you've been on 100,000 dives.You also have no specific knowledge of my diving experience.

My advice to you is to add value or you won't be published in future.


Hope the investigators will rope in few dive professionals perhaps from DAN to assist in this sad incident. RIP young lady...

Posted by Froggie on November 30, 2015 12:03


any updates on this incident?

Posted by Anonymous on December 7, 2015 19:35

Editor Comment:

Nothing that clarifies yet how she was left alone.


There was no autopsy done, the family did not want one. The person she was buddied up with was her husband who was a master diver. Here in Khao Lak and heard first hand from people who were on the boat that it happened on. mysterious and sad.

Posted by mary on December 27, 2015 23:30

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