Body of Thai actress recovered from river, police consider charging helmsman of speed boat
The owner and skipper of the speed boat, in which Thai TV actress Nida “Tangmo” Patcharaveerapong was travelling with a small group of friends on Thursday evening, may face charges of causing death by negligence, said Pol Maj-Gen Paisarn Wongwatcharamongkol, superintendent of Nonthaburi police today (Saturday).
The two-day search for the missing actress ended when her body was recovered from the Chao Phraya River this afternoon.
38 hours after she fell from a boat, rescue teams found Nida’s body floating in the river about 300 metres from the Pibulsongkram Pier in Nonthaburi province.
Nida’s brother was the first to spot something floating in the river and he alerted the rescue teams, who arrived at the location and plucked the body from the water.
With tears in his eyes, Nida’s brother thanked everyone for their efforts. He said he recognised the body as belonging to his sister by the clothes she was wearing.
“I come to take her back home,” he said, adding that he will leave the rest for the police to handle.
Pol Maj-Gen Paisarn said today Tanupat Lerttaweewit, the owner of the speed boat, may face a charge of using a speed boat with an expired license, while another man nicknamed “Bert”, who was at the helm of the boat when Nida fell, may face a charge of driving a boat without a license.
The two may also face charges of causing death by negligence, but no formal charges have been filed yet, said the police officer.
Nida was among a group of six people on the speed boaton Thursday night, travelling from the Thon Buri Bridge towards Nonthaburi province. She is believed to have fallen into the river from the rear of the boat at about 11pm.
Nida’s friends, with her on the boat, have all reported to Nonthaburi’s Muang district police station for questioning. They included Tanupat Lerttaweewit, the owner of the speed boat, and Nida’s personal manager, known as “Kratik”.
Asked why it took him so long to report to the police, Tanupat said he was still in shock after what had happened.
He said that there were life jackets on board, but none of the passengers was wearing one because they did not know where they were kept.
“We are very sorry, we are saddened by the incident,” he said as he pleaded with the media for understanding and sympathy.