According to the Guardian, Patrick Molloy, 28, jumped into the sea in the Thai beach town of Pattaya while fleeing the group of men chasing him and his two friends, local media reported.
His body was recovered by fishermen who said Molloy, from Cambridge, had been clutching the rope of an inflatable raft a few metres from shore but seemed to have lost his grip and drowned.
The three men, Molloy, James Wilks, 29, and Jerry Robson, 30, rushed into the water on Sunday morning after being chased out of a nightclub and through a beachside restaurant by five or six Thai men, some of whom were carrying sticks and knives, witnesses told police.
Wilks and Robson swum in different directions from Molloy and were rescued in Pattaya Bay.
Comments left seemingly by friends of Molloy on local English-language website PattayaOne suggest that he was unable to swim.
The Daily Mirror reports that Molloy was on holiday following his release from a UK prison after serving a sentence for assault.
Police were collecting statements from Wilks and Robson, and are still looking for the Thai gang.
A spokesman for the British embassy in Bangkok said: 'We are aware of the death of a British national on the second of December in Pattaya, Thailand. We are providing consular assistance to the family.'
Pattaya is located 100 miles south-east of Bangkok and is famous for its beaches and nightlife.
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