KATHU: A young Thai man drowned on Sunday afternoon in the Bang Wat reservoir after getting into trouble during a swimming race with a friend. Pol Capt Boonlert Polkwang of Tungtong Police Station named the dead man as Uthai Srimuddee, 19, an air conditioning engineer with Pravej Chang Air. Capt Boonlert said that Uthai and his close friend and colleague, Somsak Karaket, 28, had decided to see who could swim fastest to the center of the reservoir and back again, a distance of about 20 meters each way. On the way out to the middle of the reservoir, Uthai was at first leading, but Somsak overtook him and was first to reach the outlet at the center of the reservoir. As he started back, he saw Uthai raise his hands in a call for help. Reaching him, Somsak tried to help by holding him under the chin and towing him back to shore. But Somsak was exhausted and could not hold onto his friend. Helplessly he watched Uthai sink beneath the water. Called to the reservoir, divers from the Phuket Marine Police and the Kusornlatham Foundation found Uthai’s body within 15 minutes. “The doctor who performed the autopsy said that there were no signs of foul play and that Uthai had drowned,” said Capt Boonlert. “He may have become exhausted because he was wearing jeans which became very heavy when wet,” he added.
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