Connect with us


Police consider foul play, reward offered for missing American diver

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: Police have yet to rule out foul play as the family of an American scuba diver who vanished from a Similans-bound, liveaboard boat in April offers a 170,000-baht reward for any information that will lead to the discovery of his whereabouts.

Joshua Michael Devine, 36, a civilian IT operative working at a United States military base in Kuwait, was on the CRP Transport diving trip with his Thai wife, Ms Thadsana, and 22 other divers, when he went missing from the boat on April 11 (story here).

Despite days of extensive nautical and aerial searches following Mr Devine’s disappearance, no signs of him were discovered (story here).

The circumstances surrounding Mr Devine’s disappearance led his sister, Jennifer Bakowski, to believe that there was something suspicious about the situation.

“He’s been in war zones since he was 18, and goes missing while on a diving trip. It just doesn’t equate,” Ms Bakowski told FoxCT.

“We don’t want to put anyone else in danger by coming forward, but we need to bring him home. We need closure to this.”

Ms Thadsana told police that before the disappearance, her husband had been drinking with other divers and had come in and made ruckus in their room at about 4am.

“He was shouting, so two of the guys he just made friends with came in and took him away to calm him down. I was told to just rest in my room.”

Ms Thadsana told the Phuket Gazette that she couldn’t get back to sleep, and about 15 minutes later one of the men returned to see if Mr Devine had come back to the room.

“The man said that Mr Devine wanted to be alone. We searched the boat, but couldn’t find him,” Ms Thadsana said.

FoxCT reported that despite the immediate search, Mr Devine wasn’t reported missing until hours later.

“Nobody heard a splash. Nobody heard anything about him going into the water, he just ‘magically disappeared’,” Ms Bakowski said. “We’ve been told that the Thai community is afraid to go forward, because people go missing.”

Lt Thanapop Rattanaburi of the Cherng Talay Police – who were put in charge of the missing person case – confirmed that the file has yet to be closed.

“The family has the right to post a reward like this, and we are grateful for any help they can give us,” Lt Thanapop said.

“I know they are upset with the lack of results, but we’ve not closed the case yet.

“We cannot conclude whether or not this was an accident or a crime, as we have yet to find him. At the moment we are considering it a missing persons case.”

Lt Thanapop pointed out that all the witnesses on the boat that police questioned had supplied roughly the same theory: he was drunk and may have fallen off the boat.

“The boat was big, and the sound of the engine would have been louder than a person falling into the water,” Lt Thanapop said. “During our questioning, we did not ascertain any information that led us to believe foul play was involved. However, we have not ruled it out.”

The Royal Thai Navy confirmed to the Gazette today that they had done their best during their search efforts.

“We spent about 1.2 million baht searching for him. We did our best,” Commander of the Royal Thai Navy’s Third Area Command Vice Admiral Sayan Prasongsamrej said. “We understand the feelings of the family and appreciate their continued efforts. However, at this point the case is in police hands.”

— Kongleaphy Keam


Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand11 hours ago

Tourism officials eye August reopening under “Pattaya Move On” travel scheme

Thailand11 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Covid vaccine for foreigners, PM “not going anywhere”, Boss update | June 15

Best of11 hours ago

Top 8 Affordable Hotels to stay in Bangkok

Phuket Sandbox July 1st


Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Sponsored by image

Thailand12 hours ago

Central Bankruptcy Court approves Thai Airways debt restructuring plan

Best of12 hours ago

Top 5 secret islands and beaches in Thailand

Best of12 hours ago

5 best national parks in Phuket

Thailand13 hours ago

Australian man arrested for alleged child sex abuse in Thai border town

Best of13 hours ago

10 best fruits and vegetables in Thailand

Thailand13 hours ago

3 dead in 3 truck crash in Surat Thani

Thailand13 hours ago

Bangkok Post and Fazwaz join together to galvanise property listings platform

Bangkok14 hours ago

CCSA has yet to begin talks on lifting alcohol ban at Bangkok restaurants

Coronavirus (Covid-19)14 hours ago

Yala enters lockdown today

Thailand14 hours ago

Thai police say they’ve gathered “strong evidence” on transnational drug trade

Phuket15 hours ago

Indonesian fisherman rescued after 9 days adrift at sea

Thailand15 hours ago

More than 100 cats rescued from owner

Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism3 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8