A Frenchman was found dead after drowning on a Thai beach after locals who heard him call for help thought he was play-acting.
Mark Landing, 60, had been swimming in the water when residents noticed his arms flapping on the surface like he was asking for help in Rayong province on July 11.
Concerned locals rushed to help him but the old man then swam back to the beach on his own and started walking around. Residents thought he had been play-acting.
The tourist then returned to the sea and swam again. After a few minutes, locals saw his arms rising above the water but assumed he was only faking it and they ignored him. He was later found dead.
Onlooker Pattanakhon Waisawong said: ‘We all thought he was just messing around, because the first time he had problems he was actually fine. After a moment we saw a wave swallowed him and after that, no arms could be seen from the shore.’
Locals realised the Frenchman had drowned when he failed to surface from the water for almost half an hour. They called the emergency services who arrived with a boat to retrieve Mark’s body.
Medics tried reviving him after he was discovered 50 metres away from shore but he was unresponsive and declared dead.
Police Lieutenant General Chinnaphat Sarasin said: ‘The man’s body was pale and was wearing only orange swimming trunks. We examined his body and found no injuries.’
A beach vendor said Mark would visit the beach to swim for two hours most days but they were not aware of where he had been staying.
The police are now coordinating with the French embassy in Thailand so they could contact the man’s relatives in his home country.