British backpacker found dead in drain on Thailand's Death Island

Koh Tao

The Briton was found dead on the island of Koh Tao

Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop

Published: 12/04/2024

- 09:14

Updated: 12/04/2024

- 10:48

The traveller was participating in a pub crawl when he disappeared

A British backpacker has been found dead on Koh Tao in Thailand, dubbed the "Death Island".

The traveller, understood to be 31, was particpating in a pub crawl when he disappeared.

He had been travelling with his long-term girlfriend, and the pair had gotten drunk with other holiday-goers during the event on March 18.

The next morning, he was found lifeless in a shallow water drainage ditch outside the Roctapus diving centre.

Sairee Beach

The 31-year-old's body was discovered on Sairee Beach


Police said that they suspect his body was lying in the drain for hours before he was found.

His phone was also missing, officers said.

The case is "still open" however officials have not made any arrests.

Police said they are waiting for the results of a post-mortem examination.


The 31-year-old's body was discovered on Sairee Beach, the same scenic spot where two British tourists were found dead almost a decade ago.

Hannah Witheridge, 23, and David Miller, 24, were bludgeoned to death on Koh Tao in September 2014.

It would also come to light that Witheridge was raped in the brutal attack.

The British backpackers were beaten to death by two Burmese bar workers, Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Tu, who were given the death penalty following an investigation - which has been widely criticised by human rights organisations and legal experts.

A decade later, they have called for a review into their case.

After the violent murders, which saw the pair both receiving serious head wounds, the island in the Gulf of Thailand was dubbed "Death Island".

Koh Tao street

​The island has been dubbed 'death island' after a string of deaths and disappearances of Westerners over the last decade

Wikimedia Commons

Other deaths have rocked the island over the years, with 11 Westerners having died or vanished on the island in the past decade.

Just three months after the deaths of Witheridge and Miller, another Briton was found floating in the sea after visiting the island for a family holiday.

Nick Pearson, 25, from Derby, fell from a cliff and drowned, according to local police, however, his parents believe that he was secretly followed back to his beach bungalow and attacked - something they think the police in Thailand have been trying to cover up.

His mother told Derby and South Derbyshire Coroner's Court she had "a gut feeling there was foul play".

Just a month after Pearson's body was discovered, Christina Annesley, 23, from Orpington, South London, was found dead on the island.

Annesley, who was midway through a four-month trip around southeast Asia, died of a suspected accidental overdose after mixing her antibiotics with alcohol. However, her father said at the time that a toxicology report was not carried out.

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