Four Thai tourists drown while kayaking in Kaeng Krachan Lake

Four Thai tourists drowned after their overloaded kayak capsized in the Kaeng Krachan Lake in Phetchaburi province on Monday.

All the male victims were members of a group of 14 young tourists from Samut Prakan province staying at a lakeside resort in Ban Phu Bon for the New Year celebrations.

A survivor, identified as Narongrith Meekhun, 21, told police that he and three other friends took a kayak out on the lake, without wearing life vests, after having drinks.

He reportedly said that, when they were about 70 metres from the shore, the kayak capsized throwing everyone into the water.  He swam ashore to call for help and Preecha Some, 21, another member of the group, who had remained ashore, jumped into the lake to try to help, but drowned along with the three other kayakers.

Divers from a rescue unit took about three hours to retrieve the three victims from the lake bed.

The resort owner told police that the resort has strict regulations requiring all kayakers to wear life preservers. He admitted, however, to an oversight by the guards due to the number of tourists on that day.

The four dead victims were identified as Thanapan Thongcharat, 21, Supakorn Soros, 22, Boonrith Pakdeepawan, 21 and Preecha.

On the same day, in Phuket, the driver of a passenger van and four Chinese tourists were injured when the vehicle rammed into two roadside power poles as it was heading from the airport into town.

Police said that the driver, Chatchai Thongchai, had collected the tourists from the airport to take them to their hotel on Patong beach. Police suspect that Chatchai might have momentarily fallen asleep at the wheel.


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