Best-selling author's son drowns at beach in Thailand

Best-selling author's son drowns at beach in Thailand

The son of best-selling author Gilda O'Neill has drowned at a beach in Thailand.

Jeremy O'Neill, 37, was found by passersby on Patong beach in Phuket.

The only son of the author, who was known for her critically acclaimed books about life in the East End, was seen washing himself in the sea at around 4am.

He was found a just a few hours later by beachgoers, and was taken to Patong Hospital, where doctors confirmed he had drowned, according to the Evening Standard.

Jeremy, from Brentwood, Essex, had been studying Thai at the Patong Language School.

Best-selling author's son drowns at beach in Thailand

This Is Total Essex reports that his sister, Jodi Glass, set up a tribute Just Giving page in his memory, raising funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital.

One message from a user called Marieto, reads: "Jel (sic) was the most big hearted, smiler, larger than life, craziest person I knew and when remembering him I will always smile :) sleep tight fella xxx."

Phuket is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Thailand, and attracts more than three million visitors a year.

According to the Daily Mail, a spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirmed Mr O'Neill's death saying: "We were notified of the death of a British national on 21 May and we are providing consular assistance at this sad time."

Gilda, who wrote the bestsellers My East End and Our Street, died in 2010, aged 59, from side effects triggered by medication prescribed for a minor injury, reports This Is Total Essex.

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