Concerned about identity of body

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Editor;

On Saturday 24th August we went to Koh Samet, Tay Koh Sunset Viewpoint, my girlfriend and I, and we thought we saw a body floating in the water. We took some photographs and after looking at for a while wondered if it was doll or a body. It was floating on both sides (front and back) and after looking at the photos we called the police. The police came about 15 minutes later, first one policeman and then about 5 or 6 of them.

The body had moved further down the shore and we went down there and could see the body. Eventually it came close to the rocks and nearly washed up on shore. It was badly decomposed and we had difficulty working out whether it was a man or woman, a foreigner or Asian person. The body had a black T shirt on and nothing else. What we could make out the T-shirt said “I love (heart) …iruno” (difficult to make out). Later we went with the police close to the body and tried to get it from the water. The police seemed a little reluctant to pull it out of the water immediately and we got involved and tried to pull it with a rope. Two army personal on the island also got involved tried to help us. … To see a body floating in the water like that reminded me of some Hollywood horror movie.

We then left the scene and later went to the police station who told us that they thought it was a fisherman who fell overboard (or something like that), and there seemed to be little investigation going on. As far as I understood no further investigation would take place. We were told that they would wait for a missing persons report. They said it was a male and they thought it was an Asian person (possibly Thai). When someone is in the sea for so long it is difficult to know we were told. But I find that a little disheartening given that it might have been someone travelling alone and no missing report in that case would be coming. I have to ask surely there is some kind of process or procedure that needs to be followed to understand who they were or might have been staying for instance. Maybe it was a foreigner travelling alone. From what I could see it appeared to have a tattoo on the front of “his” chest. We are convinced it was a male. Also most fisherman go fishing without a t-shirt, so this possibly looked like a swimmer to me who had drowned. I understand that the body is badly decomposed but I wonder about his relatives who may be looking for him, or could be unaware he has gone missing.

I think they should have a board outside the police station in Thai and English informing people of missing persons, incidents and in this case of unidentified people found. They should also have it on the Internet. I understand they may not wish for bad publicity but if that happened in London or New York, an unidentified report would be issued. The police station telephone number is 038 644 111.

Mark Levin

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