Songkhla

Tragic hero – lifeguard, 10 year old, drowned in new year beach tragedy

The body of a 10 year old girl who had been swept away by strong waves from a Songkhla beach, was found washed ashore this morning, near the scene of the new year beach tragedy.

Rescue teams searched the area throughout last night and this morning for the lost child who was washed away as she was playing with two other children on Chalathat Beach Saturday afternoon.

The missing girl, identified as Nong Priewwan, had come to the beach with her mother, Boonruang and two other girls. When they arrived, Nong went swimming in the sea with the other girls because the waves were not high. When the waves became stronger and higher, she was swept away. The two other girls reached the shore safely.

The girl’s parents spent the whole night on Chalathat Beach, hoping for a miraculous return of their child. At about 9.40am Sunday, the search teams found Nong’s body on the beach.

The family had travelled from Yala Province to celebrate the new year at the beach with relatives. They allowed their kids to play on the beach as they felt it was safe, but strong waves hit the beach and washed Nong into the sea.

Compounding the new year beach tragedy, a municipal lifeguard died during the search. Sathaporn Mingsuk 36 years old, was among rescue workers searching for the missing girl. During the search, Sathaporn lost consciousness. He was brought ashore and taken to Songkhla Hospital by his colleagues, where he was pronounced dead.

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Jon Whitman

Jon Whitman is a seasoned journalist and author who has been living and working in Asia for more than two decades. Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Jon has been at the forefront of some of the most important stories coming out of China in the past decade. After a long and successful career, Jon is now semi-retired, living in a quiet village in Krabi province, Thailand. He continues to write and is an avid traveler and photographer, documenting his experiences across the world.