11 July 2024

A tourist was attacked by a shark, believed to be a small bull shark, as he was swimming in the sea off a beach in Thailand’s southern coastal province of Phang-nga on Sunday.

The victim was not identified, but his condition is not serious and he has been treated at the provincial hospital.

Marine expert and vice dean of the Faculty of Fisheries of Kasetsart University, Dr. Thorn Thamrongnawasawat, said on his Facebook page today that shark attacks are very rare in Thailand, with the last one happening in Phuket in 2017, with all attacks being attributed to small bull or blacktip reef sharks.

Thorn explained that these sharks often do not attack larger prey and their attacks might be caused by misunderstanding because the water near the beach is murky and when they realize that what they have caught is not their prey, they simply let go.

He said that there is no need to worry about shark attacks in Thai seas, but he warned against swimming at dawn or dusk when small sharks search for food near the beach.

Thorn noted that, each year, only 5-10 people die in shark attacks worldwide, but about 70 million sharks are killed by humans.