March 29, 2017

Choi Yihyun

Two parents travelling with a South Korean travel group were forced to watch as their two teenage boys drown in a river in Tak as powerful eddies sucked them underwater.

Residents from a small village in Tak’s Mae Usu subdistrict contacted police at 17:00 whilst the tragic incident was unfolding before their eyes. Police officers at the Tha Song Yang Provincial Police Station, together with an emergency doctor and other rescue workers from the Tha Song Yang Hospital, arrived to investigate the scene: a small beach on the shore of the Mae Nam Moei river.

“They told us that two teenagers in the tourist group had drowned,” Pol Col Wirat Puangin said. “We sent rescue workers to the spot where the two boys were seen.”

Rescuers searched frantically for the missing boys in the cloudy water, aware that the boys’ chances of survival were decreasing by the second. Strong currents and turbulent eddies turned the search into an almost impossible task.

Sadly, this turned into a recovery task rather than a rescue mission. “Both of the boys were dead when they were found,” confirmed Pol Col Wirat to Thairath. “They remained underwater for too long and were unresponsive to all resuscitation efforts.”

According to js100.com, members of the tour group identified the boys as 15-year-old Cho Sejin and 16-year old Choi Yihyun. Both were South Korean nationals.

To get a clearer picture of the circumstances surrounding the incident, Pol Col Wirat questioned various members of the group. “We were told that they had been to Tak to see some of the province’s sightseeing spots. After visiting the Mae Usu Cave, they decided to go down in the Mae Nam Moei river and cool down. The cave is only 3.2 kilometres away from the river and runs along the border to Burma.”

Police did not say how many tourists were on the tour. According to an initial investigation, several members, including Shor Sojin and Joy Jiyun, entered the water. When villagers realised that something was wrong and the two boys were in trouble, they immediately called for help, the report says.

Rescuers from the Phetkasem Foundation recovered the bodies of the two teenagers, and sent them to the Tha Song Yang Hospital in Mae Tan subdistrict.

A pathologist is expected to carry out a post-mortem in order to establish the cause of death. The bodies will then be transfered to he Mae Sot Hospital until the families claim them for repatriation.

Tha Song Yang Provincial Police Station has already forwarded the information to Bangkok so that officers can notify the South Korean Embassy of the tragic swimming accident.

Case Details

Source Thairath
Date of Death: March 29, 2017
Last Edited: 4 months ago
Age: 16 years
Gender: Male
Nationality: South Korean
Cause of Death: Drowning
Province: Tak
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