Woman nearly dies after jumping into river to retrieve 1,000 baht bill

Photo via ThaiRath

A 71 year old Thai woman almost died for literally chasing money by jumping into the Bang Pakong River in the central province of Chachoengsao to retrieve a 1,000 baht bill.

Officers from Mueang Chachoengsao Police Station rushed to the pier in front of the Chachoengsao Provincial Fire Station after receiving a report of a water accident. At the scene, officers met with a soggy 71 year old woman, Prong Kanchai, who had just been rescued from the river.

A Thai man, 46 year old Hirun Yaempinit, was the Good Samaritan who saved Prong from drowning. Hirun said that Prong had asked him to help her retrieve her 1,000 baht note, which had blown from her shirt pocket into the river. He tried to retrieve it with a wooden stick but it sank to the bottom of the river.

Unexpectedly, Prong jumped into the water to retrieve her money. Hirun said he had not expected the woman to dare. He watched her closely and saw that she could not swim and was about to drown. Hirun then jumped into the water and pulled the woman out.

According to Hirun, Prong was distraught and distressed. She told him she only had 1,030 baht and wanted to spend it on food and household items but had lost it all.

Another man who heard the story decided to give her 500 baht and urged her to keep going. The man said she was lucky to be alive and urged her to think that it was just a bad day that would pass.

Life’s a stage

ThaiRath later interviewed Prong at her residence, located on the second floor of an old theatre along Mana Chakkaphat Road in Chachoengsao. Prong shared that she had previously been employed at the theatre, and the owner allowed her to stay on the second floor after its closure.

Prong lived there with two sons, a daughter-in-law and grandchildren. One of Prong’s sons was in a car accident and had cerebral palsy.

After the theatre closed, Prong said she tried to get a job as a maid in a restaurant. However, she suffered from several illnesses and eventually had to stop working. Unfortunately, grappling with various health issues, she eventually had to cease working, relying solely on a meagre 600 baht monthly government allowance.

On the day of the incident, Prong recounted the events to the media. Initially earning 1,000 baht from her work, a compassionate employee provided her with additional funds. Despite her initial joy, the elation was short-lived—within 30 minutes, the 1,000 baht note in her shirt pocket, fluttered away and descended into the river while she was on her way to a supermarket. This money, intended for the purchase of essential items such as rice, soap, washing powder, and canned fish, was now irretrievably lost.

Despite lacking swimming skills, Prong, momentarily forgetting her limitations, decided to plunge into the river in a desperate attempt to recover the note. Motivated by the fear of losing her only means of financial sustenance, she was fortunately rescued in the nick of time.

Central Thailand NewsThailand News

Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at petch@thethaiger.com.

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