Fisherman accidentally harpoons his own face in eastern Thailand

A fisherman from Rayong province in eastern Thailand accidentally speared himself in the face with a fish harpoon yesterday. He is now in stable condition.

Yesterday afternoon, 30 year old Sarot from Rayong’s Chamao district went fishing with some friends at the Mor Mui Reservoir in the Pluak Daeng district. He dived into the water and tried to spear a fish, but his fish harpoon “exploded” and the dart launched into his face.

The harpoon pierced through Sarot’s left cheek and all the way through his nose. Sarot stayed calm and left the spear impaled in his face.

Sarot’s friends put him in a saleng (a sidecar attached to a motorbike) and drove him to the Pluak Daeng Rescue Centre, more than 10 kilometres away from the reservoir.

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During the journey, Sarot “lost a lot of blood, turned very pale and his pulse began to disappear,” said his friend. Rescue workers did some preliminary first aid when Sarot arrived and rushed him to Pluak Daeng Hospital.

Doctors at Pluak Daeng Hospital surgically removed the fish harpoon from Sarot’s face. He is currently recovering from the incident in the hospital and his condition is stable.

Sarot’s 39 year old friend Rung Arun, another fisherman, said he saw Sarot dive into the water and emerge shortly afterwards with a spear lodged in his face.

Pluak Daeng Rescue Worker, 31 year old Pornchai Kan-ngoern, said rescue workers followed all the necessary steps to ensure that the injured Sarot got to the hospital quickly and safely.

In March, a Thai woman allegedly stabbed her husband’s penis with a fishing harpoon in Buriram province in northeast Thailand. He needed 17 stitches.

In April, a Thai tourist was impaled in the neck by a needlefish while he was swimming at Ao Tan Khu beach in Trat province, also in eastern Thailand. Needlefish attacks are few and few between but can be fatal. The tourist saved his own life by leaving the fish in his neck so he didn’t bleed to death.

A couple of weeks ago, a builder died from blood loss in Chon Buri province, eastern Thailand, after pulling a grinding wheel out of his chest after a freak accident.

At the annual Phuket Vegetarian Festival, believers of Taoism’s Nine Emperor Gods eat vegetarian food for nine days and some willingly pierce their faces with swords and all kinds of other objects.

Thailand News


Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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