A British tourist is missing in Thailand after falling into a reservoir during a kayaking trip, with scuba divers still searching the 160ft deep waters after his friend raised the alarm yesterday.
Shanghaman Gowribalan, 24, was kayaking with his friend at the Rajjaprabha Dam in Surat Thani province at around 9am on Sunday afternoon, February 11.
The Brit then reportedly fell into the deepest part of the reservoir, around 500 metres away from the Kraisorn Raft House, and could not swim to safety.
His frantic friend, also from the UK, rowed back to shore and pleaded with park authorities for help.
Police and rescue teams are now using sonar to search for Mr Gowribalan, and had still not found him on Monday afternoon, some 24 hours after he first went missing.
British tourist Shanghaman Gowribalan, 24 reportedly fell into the deepest part of the reservoir, around 500 metres away from the Kraisorn Raft House
Police and rescue teams are now using sonar to search underwater, and had still not found him on Monday afternoon
A friend of Shanghaman Gowribalan with Thai police as a search operation is underway
Worapote Lomlim, the local park director, said: ‘Initial investigations suggest that the two tourists may have violated park regulations.
‘In order to take a kayak out for paddling, you must register first to receive a paddle and life jacket from the staff.
‘No registration was found. We believe the two tourists left early in the morning without wearing life jackets.
‘Therefore, the head of the Khao Sok National Park will be investigating the facts.’
Worapote added that the area where the man had fallen was up to 164ft deep (50 metres) and the water was ‘very cold’.
Friends of Mr Gowribalan with Thai police at the Rajjaprabha Dam reservoir
Rescue teams are searching for a British tourist who fell into the water while kayaking at a reservoir in Thailand
Scuba divers were deployed to search the waters, but the operation was temporarily suspended over safety concerns due to the dam’s depth
Scuba divers were deployed to search the waters, but the operation was temporarily suspended over safety concerns due to the dam’s depth, cold temperature, and turbidity. The search and rescue was resumed today, February 12.
Boonruang Longlaluad, chief of the provincial disaster prevention and mitigation office, said the provincial governor has ordered experts from neighbouring teams to aid in the search.
More scuba divers from the island of Koh Tao and Chonburi province in the east of the country have arrived at the scene today.