German tourist missing after jump from Pha Ngan ferry
Rescue workers continue to search for a German man who shocked onlookers last night by jumping from a large ferry as it departed Koh Pha Ngan. The man is currently lost at sea as worried friends and community members hope for a happy ending.
Last night, the deputy director of Surat Thani province Region 2 Police, was informed by the ferry operator Raja Ferry International Port Co., that a male foreign tourist had jumped from the ferry Racha 8 and was lost at sea.
The ferry had just departed from Thongala Pier in Koh Pha Ngan at 6.30pm and was en route to Lipa Noi pier in Koh Samui, a journey it currently makes twice a day. The man, later identified as 35 year old German national Florian Storz, was reportedly travelling on the boat with his girlfriend.
Approximately 10 to 15 minutes into the journey, passengers on board the ferry reported that someone had jumped overboard. The ferry, which was travelling at a speed of eight knots, immediately turned around to initiate a search for the missing German.
Coordination efforts were made with the Koh Pha Ngan Police Station, Koh Pha Ngan Harbor Master, Marine Police, Tourist Police, and a rescuer from the Charosat Sattha Foundation to locate the missing person after he plunged from the ferry.
Despite the challenges posed by the rough sea conditions, with waves up to 1-2 meters high, the search party set out to find the missing tourist. Using a program to calculate the path of the sea currents, the search party determined that the tourist was likely to be drifting southeast after jumping from the ferry, approximately 6.19 nautical miles from Koh Pha Ngan.
The search teams roamed the waters from about 8.45pm onwards around Koh Pha Ngan, and then expanded at 10pm to the area between neighbouring tiny islands Koh Tan Nai, and Koh Tan Nak. Then, due to the darkness and strong waves, the search was temporarily suspended.
This morning, the search resumed with the combined efforts of all involved parties. No information was released about his girlfriend or anything she could explain about his sudden jump from the ferry. Police officers have kept his belongings as evidence in their ongoing efforts to determine the motive for his plunge.
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