Man survives 20-metre fall from sugar palm tree in Udon Thani

A 38 year old Udon Thani native miraculously survived a fall from a 20-metre-tall sugar palm tree with only minor scrapes. The incident, which occurred in Dong Mafai village, Na Phue sub-district, Phen district, Udon Thani, has left locals astounded.

Reporters visited Dong Mafai village yesterday, May 23, after hearing about the remarkable survival of Watchara Chusena, also known as Manee Daeng, who climbs and sells sugar palms for a living.

Despite falling from a height of nearly 20 metres, he escaped with just a few scratches on his back from the palm tree’s splinters. Many villagers attribute his survival to the protective power of his tattoos, although Watchara insists he doesn’t possess any sacred objects.

Watchara recounted the fall that happened last Sunday. After the fall, he immediately checked himself for injuries by lifting his legs and arms and rotating his neck. Remarkably, he found no broken bones. Relatives who were nearby called for emergency services.

Watchara emphasised that he relies on the good deeds he has performed and the respect he has for his parents, rather than any amulets.

The tattoo on his back, he explained, was done by a revered monk in Na Phue while he was intoxicated. On the day of the accident, he had been using a bamboo ladder to climb the tree.

Safety first

He believes that if he had used a metal ladder, the fall might have been prevented. Watchara urged others in his profession to avoid taking shortcuts and always use appropriate tools for the job to ensure safety.

“When you’re up in a tree, you must stay focused…when I fell, my mind went blank. But as I regained consciousness, I thought of my parents.

“It felt like something cushioned my fall, sparing me from serious injury. Others in this job have suffered broken bones and worse. I consider myself very lucky.”

Reporters observed Watchara climbing a sugar palm tree equipped with safety gear. Before climbing, he performed a ritual, praying and placing soil on his head as an act of reverence.

A nun, who is a relative of Watchara, mentioned that they always pay respects to the guardian spirits of the palm groves. This ritual is performed on the first day and is believed to ensure safety for the duration of their work.

A local and fellow palm tree climber, 60 year old Kruawan Chiyangkhobut shared that their community performs similar rituals. Each year, they offer three trays to the village guardian spirits: one for the person climbing, one for the family, and one for the household. This practice is believed to protect them from harm.

Stay alert

However, she stressed the importance of staying vigilant. She recounted an incident where her son injured his leg while climbing a palm tree. Despite the dizziness he felt, she managed to bring him down safely and get him to the hospital.

The story of Watchara’s survival has become a local sensation, with many attributing his escape from serious injury to various protective factors, including spiritual practices and personal vigilance, reported Sanook.

His experience serves as a cautionary tale for others in the same line of work, highlighting the importance of using proper equipment and maintaining focus while performing such dangerous tasks.

Thailand News

Samantha Rose

Samantha was a successful freelance journalist who worked with international news organisations before joining Thaiger. With a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from London, her global perspective on news and current affairs is influenced by her days in the UK, Singapore, and across Thailand. She now covers general stories related to Thailand.

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