BANGTAO: The Governor of Phuket Province, Chadej Insawang, is to make a posthumous award for courage to Patchya Dangkrajang, who died in heavy seas on Songkran Day after rescuing a foreigner who got into trouble swimming. The Governor is also expected to award 22,000 baht from public welfare funds to the family of the 16-year-old hero. Patchya, who was helping his aunt to sell food and drink on Laem Sing Beach, saw the foreigner being swept out to sea. He ran to the water, grabbed a life jacket and a swimmer’s training board, and swam out to the foreigner. With Patchya’s help, the foreigner was able to get back to the beach, but Patchya was then swept away by strong currents. Six divers from the Kusonlatham Foundation tried to find the missing teenager, but after three hours battling rain and heavy seas they abandoned the search. Patchya’s body was found 48 hours later on nearby Surin Beach. An autopsy at Kathu Hospital showed that he had died of a combination of drowning and head injuries. The identity of the foreigner is unknown. He is believed to have left the beach soon after being rescued. Patchya was from Chonburi, and, according to his aunt, provided the main source of income for his family.
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