A British tourist drowned on a Thai holiday island after walking into the sea while he was drunk, police said today.
Scott Townsend, 37, was seen walking drunkenly on Patong Beach in Phuket, Thailand, last Friday at 8am.
Locals fearing for his safety urged him not to go into the water and told him to return to his hotel.
But he ignored their advice and stayed on the beach – before later being seen disappearing beneath the water.
Mike Exon said: ‘It is sad as he was one of a few people who made me feel as I had known him a lifetime.
‘I recently bought a phone off Scott as he advertised on Facebook. He was honest and offered the phone at a reasonable price.
‘He was a pleasure to do business with and to be honest I had recommended him to others.
‘Thinking of Scott’s close friends and family. You are Heavens gain mate R.I.P.’
Rescuers and police were called at 10am and spent 20 minutes searching for Mr Townsend before pulling his body from the sea some 10 to 15 metres from the shore.
Police said that witnesses described him as being drunk and that he was due to fly back to his home on the Isle of Man the next day.
The Kusoldharm Foundation, a rescue group, said they helped to retrieve the body with lifeguards but Mr Townsend was already dead.
A spokesman said today: ‘The victim’s body was near the shore but he had drowned. We tried to save him but it was too late.
‘CPR was attempted before the victim arrived at hospital. Doctors confirmed he had died.’
Capt Yingyong from Patong police station said today that onlookers who had seen Scott before he entered the water believed he was ‘an intoxicated person’.
He said that the hospital had confirmed the death as drowning.
Relatives in Scotland have been informed.