The driver told police the Indian had been parasailing with 16 others when she splashed down after the wind changed. Saichon told police he feared she might drown, so he threw the boat into reverse, only to have the cords wrap around the propeller and pull her into the spinning blades.
Police charged Saichon with reckless driving resulting in death and that public officials would discuss compensation with the victim’s family.
Agarwal became the fourth foreign tourist killed this year in speedboat accidents, which also have maimed three others and injured dozens more.
On Aug. 28, two Chinese tourists died and eight were injured when their speedboat crashed into an anchored longtail boat off Bali Hai Pier. The boat driver, now arrested, steered his twin-engine craft too close to the empty glass-bottom boat, snagging its anchor line, causing it to smash into the longtail and eject half the passengers.
A Polish woman was killed by a speedboat propeller in January in Jomtien Beach and a Thai taxi driver swimming in Najomtien had his throat cut by a boat prop in May. And in April, 18 South Korean tourists and two guides were hurt in a speedboat collision off Koh Larn. One victim had to have part of his leg amputated.
Since April, local officials have held numerous press conferences to announce new marine-protection centers and regulations, but little has come of it. Nine days before the latest accident Thailand’s deputy transport minister declared the Pattaya and Chonburi coast as “safety zone” to prod local officials to better execute their responsibilities to keep tourists safe.