Thai police officer tragically drowns after jumping into dam to pursue drug dealer

Photo via Facebook/ ยโสธร แจ้งข่าว เพื่อนเตือนภัย

A Thai police officer tragically lost his life while pursuing a drug dealer in the Isaan province of Yasothon. The officer, police major Ekkapong “Ton” Tipanee, jumped into a four-metre-deep dam to help a colleague arrest the suspected drug dealer but drowned in the process.

Officers from Mueang Yasothon Police Station, and divers from Sawang Ruamjai Rescue, were alerted to the situation at Huai Nam Kaeo Dam in Yasothon at 3.30pm yesterday.

The search for Ton took almost seven hours until they found his body around 20 metres from where he had initially jumped in at 10.15pm.

The officers who joined the mission reported that they spotted a suspicious motorcycle rider, 26 year old man named Narathip “Kla” Photai, while on patrol and ordered Kla to stop so they could question him. Kla suddenly left his motorcycle and ran away from the scene because he had drugs with him.

The events unfolded when the police team pursued the suspected drug dealer, who eventually jumped into a nearby dam. Senior police sergeant major Natcha Thongmanee, who was part of the pursuit, witnessed the suspect struggling in the water and decided to jump in to help him.

However, the situation quickly turned dire as both Natcha and the suspect found themselves unable to stay afloat. It was at this point that Ton jumped into the water to assist. Sadly, Ton succumbed to the water after suffering from a possible leg cramp.

While Kla was ultimately rescued and taken to Yasothon Hospital, Ton’s fate was less fortunate. Despite calling for backup from the police station and rescue team, Ton was later found to have drowned. It is a tragedy that has deeply affected the police department and the community at large.

Ton was a single dad who recently received a promotion just three days before the incident.

This incident follows a similar tragedy that occurred last month when a 28 year old lance corporal police officer Autthapon Boonme was shot and killed by a drug suspect during a high-speed motorcycle chase in the Isaan province of Nakhon Ratchasima.

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger focusing on Thai news and what's happening in Thailand. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp.