KOH PHI PHI DON: An American tourist on holiday at Koh Phi Phi Don fell about five meters to his death after he stopped to relieve himself at a rocky outcrop on the way back to his bungalow after celebrating New Year’s Eve at a local bar.
Sub Lt Noppadon Klompong of the Krabi Muang District Police outpost on Koh Phi Phi Don identified the deceased as Michael Saul Schwartz, 64.
Lt Noppadon said he received a report about 6 am New Year’s Day of a dead Caucasian man.
The body of Mr Schwartz was found found face up, covered with bruises and wedged between two large boulders in a dark spot under a Bodhi tree.
Local people refer to the bluff from which he fell as hin lek fai [stone, iron and fire] because of the large boulders at its base, he said.
As his trousers were unzipped and covered with urine, Mr Schwartz is believed to have lost his footing and fallen down the slope after he stopped to urinate, he added.
Lt Noppadon estimated that Mr Schwartz died about three hours before his body was discovered.
Doctors at Krabi Hospital said that Mr Schwartz suffered five broken ribs, one of which punctured a lung, added Lt Noppadon.
Mr Schwartz had been a guest at Kachita Hotel on Koh Phi Phi Don for a month at the time of his death, he said.
A search of his room there uncovered an expired Israeli passport and a large quantity of medicine, perhaps indicating that he was suffering from an illness, the officer said.
The US Embassy has thus far been unable to contact any relatives to claim the body.
The Israeli Embassy has also been contacted in the hope of contacting his relatives, Lt Noppadon said.
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