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Meechai takes care of his dad

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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SONGKHLA: Acquaintances of 45-year-old Meechai say he has a history of mental confusion that requires occasional incarceration and treatment; and indeed, as events proved in the early hours of April 16, he has difficulty sorting out questions of right and wrong. Nonetheless, all things considered, his heart seems to be in the right place. Meechai had gone with his aged parents the previous evening to a neighbor’s funeral party, where – to stave off ghosts – the custom is for male mourners to drink liquor till they can hardly stay awake, then stagger off homeward. After getting thoroughly smashed, Meechai took his 85-year-old father, Ming, back to their home. The melancholy gathering had apparently inspired a tender concern in his addled brain. Before leaving the party he was overheard telling a friend, “My parents are old now, and if they continue to live, they’ll have no one to take care of them.” About 1am, the desk officer at Saba Yoy District police headquarters received word of a murder in the house at 12 tambon Khao Dang Moo 1 – Ming’s house – and went with detectives to investigate. Officers found the old man’s corpse inside, amid a pool of blood, his throat cut. Near the body was a bloody, long-handled knife of the type commonly used for cutting rubber trees. Meechai, whom police wanted to talk to (and whose first name means “Is victorious”), was nowhere in sight. Witnesses told police he had probably fled to a relative’s house seeking means of escape. In this case victory had deserted Meechai: investigators quickly tracked the prodigal down and placed him under arrest. He was probably too mixed up to care. “Questioning him at the scene was of no value,” said Pol Sub Lt Sayan Tongsuwan, who spoke to reporters afterwards. “His mind was completely spun-out.” The suspect was therefore taken to Racha Nakarint mental hospital “for a time” till he regains his right senses. Relatives said it was not his first hospital visit; he has long been troubled by “nervous disorders.” “It’s lucky his mother stayed at the funeral party,” said one relative. “She didn’t return till after the incident.” The story of Ming’s murder by his own son, and the reason alleged for it, was instantly picked up by newspapers outside Songkhla, perhaps because Thailand’s elderly find little in the way of state support when they become infirm, and must rely on relatives. “I understand what he was thinking of,” said a local woman, who works in a government office. “When people get old they can be a real burden, and if relatives can’t take care of them, they suffer.” “But I’d have handled it differently; I’d have used poison; it’s kinder,” she opined. “I wonder what led him to believe using a knife like that would keep his father from suffering? He must be crazy.”

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

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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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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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Huge monitor lizard pulled from Si Racha car

Jack Burton

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Huge monitor lizard pulled from Si Racha car | The Thaiger
PHOTOS: The Pattaya News

A woman in Chon Buri’s Si Racha district got a big surprise when she found a huge water monitor lizard in her home and called rescue workers in a panic. The lizard, over 2 metres long and coloured gold and silver, had wedged itself behind a refrigerator in the home of the woman, who was not named. Workers from a local rescue association arrived at the home in Village 6 in the Bowin Subdistrict, but the lizard managed to evade them and hid in the engine space of a nearby vehicle.

Rescue workers and local residents had to remove some parts from the car to safely get the animal out. They say it will be relocated to a forested area nearby. They stated the lizard was in good health and unharmed, although anxious due to the commotion caused by the capture. The house’s owner was also shaken up by the incident.

In Thailand, water monitors are seen by some as bad luck and the name of the lizard in Thai, “Tua Hea”, is also often used as a curse word or strong insult.

Huge monitor lizard pulled from Si Racha car | News by The ThaigerHuge monitor lizard pulled from Si Racha car | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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