Jiang Xiaonu, 53, drowned in about four meters of water off Hua Kod Beach Nov. 5. Witnesses reported the woman was scared before submerging and panicked under water, resulting in water leaking into her helmet with surface-supplied air.
She was transported to Pattaya Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Following the accident Pattaya police questioned Passakorn Wachiranantakul, owner of Mermaid Co. Ltd. in the presence of Jiang’s relatives.
The 44-year-old said he had operated the sea-walker business for two years and insisted all his equipment was up to current safety standards and was inspected daily. He denied the negligence charges and noted the company is fully insured.
The investigation is continuing to determine if any action or inaction by the company contributed to the Chinese tourist’s death.
The accident comes three months after Chonburi’s governor ordered all the province’s water sports operators to step up safety measures following the death of an Australian tourist in a Phuket parasailing accident in July.
In September, Pattaya’s 18 sea-walker and parasailing operators were ordered to get insurance to cover customers in case of death or injury. According to police, all those firms are now covered and, in this case, Jiang’s family already has been compensated.