Bad Weather Disrupts Search for Japanese Diver

Diving instructors search for Irie Takuma on Wednesday just off Koh Phangan, where he went missing Tuesday.

SURAT THANI — Search efforts for a Japanese tourist who went missing in the sea off Koh Phangan were paused Thursday due to flooding and heavy rain.

Rescue personnel, Thai and foreign diving instructors and various marine officials had been searching for Irie Takuma, 23, since he was reported missing at about 2pm on Tuesday off the island’s eastern shore before suspending the effort today.

“It’s been raining heavily here for days. It’s flooded everywhere, including the precinct,” Col. Somchai Noppasri of Koh Phangan police said.


Takuma and his three friends had gone diving in areas marked with red flags warning of turbulent waves and wind. After two days the rescue efforts were disrupted by heavy rain.


Somchai said five fishing boats, 10 longboats, and five jet skis had been recruited for the search.

“If we were to go into the water, we would all drown in the search,” Somchai said.