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Big-headed driver gets away with it

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Big-headed driver gets away with it | The Thaiger
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A MAN in Ang Thong province recently got a pass from the police when he was stopped on his motorcycle for not wearing a helmet – and there were no bribes involved.

Sombat Chiangkham, 37, told amused officers his head was too big to fit into a helmet. After taking the top-heavy gentlemen to their station and making him try at least 10 different sizes on, they eventually believed him.

The circumference of Mr Sombat’s head, at 68 centimeters, is 6cm larger than a standard XL-size motorcycle helmet, the largest type generally available in Thailand.

Mr Sombat was stopped at a police checkpoint on February 23 while riding his motorbike with his wife.

As neither was wearing any protective headgear, police told Mr Sombat they were charging him with riding a bike without a helmet and took him to Ang Thong City Police Station to be fined.

At the station, the sizably skulled suspect begged police not to fine him, saying he had never intended to break the law.

Mr Sombat said he was constantly getting stopped at checkpoints for riding without a helmet, but there was nothing he could do about it, as his head was too big to fit into any helmet available in stores.

Fortunately for the humungous-headed rider, police took pity on him.

Acknowledging that Mr Sombat didn’t intend to break the law, they agreed to treat his case as special.

They also agreed to investigate whether larger helmets were available on the market, and if so, to order one for Mr Sombat, who said he made only 300 baht a day.

They have forwarded Mr Sombat’s name to all traffic police in the area, telling them to treat his case as an exception if he is arrested again.

In Thailand, bike helmets come in sizes S, M, L and XL, suitable for heads of circumference 50-56 centimeters, 57-58 centimeters, 59-60 centimeters and 61-62 centimeters respectively.

Thawatchai Samutsin, general manager of a company that makes helmets, said most Thais used M-size and L-size helmets, though a sizable number used XL.

He said few companies made helmets bigger than that because they couldn’t sell them, adding that it was difficult to custom-make helmets for people with huge heads like Mr Sombat.

— Khao Sod

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Songkhla

Nude Panda: naked food delivery man hit with 500 baht fine

Maya Taylor

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Nude Panda: naked food delivery man hit with 500 baht fine | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

Nude Panda? Rude Panda? Or NoodPanda? A man working as a food delivery driver in the southern province of Songkhla, has been filmed riding his motorbike while naked. 24 year old Botsin Dueanchamroon later handed himself in to police, explaining that he’d taken his clothes off due to “a personal problem”. The nature of the problem is not known, and police let Botsin go with a 500 baht fine.

The incident came to light after a video was posted on social media, showing a naked Botsin hurtling along on his motorbike, which had a food delivery bag on the back. The video has now been deleted. According to a 66 year old motorbike taxi driver, Bai Aumaoom, Botsin parked his bike in front of a local temple, removed his clothes, then got back on the bike and drove off.

He later returned and strolled around before putting his clothes back on. One woman who witnessed the spectacle says she was “sickened by the sight” and would not want to eat any food delivered by the man.

Social media response was mixed with most just inquisitive about his motives to ride “commando” with little (actually no) protection.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Thailand

Divers believe they have found a 77 year old wrecked US Navy submarine by Phuket

The Thaiger

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Divers believe they have found a 77 year old wrecked US Navy submarine by Phuket | The Thaiger

Divers in the Strait of Malacca have reportedly found what they believe to be a 77 year old US Navy wrecked submarine in what is seemingly the concluding piece in a tale from World War II. The divers are currently awaiting confirmation of the finding from the United States Naval History and Heritage Command for verification after sending photos and other evidence to be reviewed. Over a five month time period, the divers gathered evidence over six separate dives to substantiate their claims that the shipwrecked submarine is that of the USS Grenadier, one of the 52 American submarines lost during the conflict.

The Grenadier, weighing 1,475 tonnes and measuring 307 feet long, was found about 150 km south of Phuket, Thailand in the Strait of Malacca. Singapore-based Jean Luc Rivoire, Frenchman Benoit Laborie, Australian Lance Horowitz, and Belgian Ben Reymenants-all who live in Phuket made the discovery. Reymenants was also one of the divers who helped in the dangerous rescue mission of the 12 Thai young football players who became trapped in a cave with their coach 2 years ago.

The Belgian has made a habit out of searching for sunken vessels over the years and would enlist Rivoire’s help in underwater searches as he had a suitable boat.

History of the submarine’s sinking details the story of the boat’s crew abandoning ship after Japanese bombs nearly killed them undersea. However, the sailors were lucky as all 76 of its personnel reportedly survived the bombing and subsequent sinking, but their luck soon took a dark turn. After Japan took the crew as prisoners, they were allegedly tortured, beaten and nearly starved for more than 2 years with 4 reportedly succumbing to the ordeal.

Divers believe they have found a 77 year old wrecked US Navy submarine by Phuket | News by The Thaiger

In this image taken from video, the top hatch of a conning tower can be seen from a submarine wreck somewhere in the Strait of Malacca on March 4, 2020. Divers have found what they believe is the wreck of a U.S. Navy submarine lost 77 years ago in Southeast Asia, providing a coda to a stirring but little-known tale from World War II. (Jean Luc Rivoire via AP)

The Belgian says he has been researching possible locations of shipwrecks for many years. When they dived to look at one captivating object, they found it was much larger than they had originally expected. Horowitz says once confirming the object’s size, they searched archives to find out which vessel it could be.

“And in the end, we took very precise measurements of the submarine and compared those with the naval records. And they’re exactly, as per the drawings, the exact same size. So we’re pretty confident that it is the USS Grenadier.”

However, the confirmation could take anywhere from 2 months to up to 1 year to complete. But its 77 year old history may make it well worth the wait.

The Grenadier set sail from Pearl Harbor on Feb 4, 1942 embarking on multiple missions while sinking 6 ships and damaging 2. Then, it took to the waters again on March 20, 1943 from Australia, on its 6th patrole to the Malacca Straight and Andaman Sea. One month later, a plane was sighted causing the ship to be ordered to crash dive. But it was too late. Blasts from 2 bombs attacked the sub, leaving important parts of the ship damaged.

Divers believe they have found a 77 year old wrecked US Navy submarine by Phuket | News by The Thaiger

This Dec. 27, 1941, photo released by U.S. Navy shows USS Grenadier (SS-210) off Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Divers have found what they believe is the wreck of the U.S. Navy submarine lost 77 years ago in Southeast Asia, providing a coda to a stirring but little-known tale from World War II. Photo: United States Navy via AP

The next morning, the crew made plans to scuttle the submarine but was captured by an armed merchant ship and hauled off to Penang, a major port town in Malaysia. Fitzgerald says the crew landed in a Catholic school turned Japanese prison where they then began to become the recipients of alleged abuse.

“The rough treatment started the first afternoon, particularly with the (enlisted) men. They were forced to sit or stand in silence in an attention attitude. Any divergence resulted in a gun butt, kick, slug in the face or a bayonet prick. In the questioning room, persuasive measures, such as clubs, about the size of indoor ball bats, pencils between the fingers and pushing of the blade of a pen knife under the finger nails, trying to get us to talk about our submarine and the location of other submarines.”

He says after a few months, the sailors were transferred to camps in Japan where they saw 4 of their compatriots die from a lack of medical attention. Such a tale that has spurned from the Grenadier has Horowitz enthralled in its history and significance.

“This was an important ship during the war and it was very important to all the crew that served on her. When you read the book of the survivors, that was, you know, quite an ordeal they went through and to know where she finally lies and rests, I’m sure it’s very satisfying for them and their families to be able to have some closure.”

 

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News Desk

Mother, daughter run over by pickup truck in Pathum Thani

Jack Burton

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Mother, daughter run over by pickup truck in Pathum Thani | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Daily News

A mother and daughter were run over today by a pickup truck carrying furniture reversing down a busy road in Pathum Thani, just north of Bangkok. The shocking incident was caught on surveillance footage. The pair had stepped into the road and didn’t notice the truck creeping up on them from behind.

Fortunately, both mother and child survived. Poh Teck Tung Rescue Foundation told the Daily News they were taken to hospital with leg and rib injuries.

Comments, criticisms and shares have been many on Thai social media. Most blame the pickup driver, but others say the mother and daughter shouldn’t have been standing in the road and should have looked to their left. Still, others say they appeared to have been waiting for a bus and shouldn’t have stepped off the sidewalk at all.

Local police say that the driver clearly could not see behind him properly and was negligent.

They suggested he should fit his truck an additional mirror, or better yet not reverse down a busy road but go to a U-turn to get back to where he wanted.

They say they plan on inviting the driver in for a “chat” with the victims when possible.

SOURCE: thaivisa | Daily News

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