Three fishermen have been arrested on suspicion of murdering a British yacht skipper in Thailand.

Malcolm Robertson, 64, was killed while sailing with his wife Linda near Koh Dong, an island about 45 miles west of Sutan province.

A police spokesman said the men, who are migrant workers from neighboring Burma, confessed to killing Robertson.

He apparently caught them climbing onto his moored yacht in an attempt to steal a dinghy.

When Robertson shouted for help, they cut his throat and beat him before throwing his body overboard.

"They tried to steal the dinghy and beat Robertson with their fists and hammers until he died," Police Colonel Virat Ohn-song said.

Robertson's wife Linda suffered minor injuries and was rescued by a fishing boat which saw the yacht adrift.

The British Embassy in Thailandconfirmed it was assisting her after the incident.

"We are aware of an attack overnight on a British couple off the coast of Satun in southern Thailand," a spokesman said.

"We are urgently pursuing this case with the Thai police."

Robertson is presumed dead, although the search for his body is still continuing.

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