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'Shark attack' off Hua Hin beach prompts investigation


Senior officials visit a Norwegian tourist who sustained injuries while swimming off a beach in Hua Hin, Prachuap Khiri Khan. Authorities have yet to conclude whether he was bitten by a shark. (Photo by Chaiwat Satyaem)


PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN: The Department of Marine and Coastal Resources will send a patrol team to survey areas off a Hua Hin beach after a tourist was reportedly bitten by a shark, and video apparently showed sharks in the sea.

 Department deputy chief Sophon Thongdee said so far there has been no confirmation that a Norwegian tourist sustained injuries from a shark attack while swimming at Sai Noi beach in Hua Hin on April 15.

Authorities had not yet reached a onclusion on the case, Thai media reported, despite the tourist's severe wounds and a video clip apparently showing sharks swimming in the area near Sai Noi beach.

The clip was posted by the abbot of Wat Kham Khao Tao to warn tourists about a possible shark attack.

 Phra Khru Boonya Piram, abbot of Wat Tham Khao Tao, said the clip drew mixed reaction online. Some said that it might cause panic among tourists visiting Hua Hin.

He had did not intend to affect tourism, said the abbot, but just wanted to warn people to take extra caution while swimming.

He said he has lived in the temple for more than 20 years and saw severeal sharks swimming in waters in front of the temple in February this year.

After hearing that a tourist had sustained injuries from a shark bite while swimming at Sai Noi beach near his temple, he then took a video of sharks and posted it online to warn people, said the abbot.

Deputy Prachuap Khiri Khan governor Chotnarin Kerdsom said he has coordinated with all relevant agencies to survey the area where the tourist sustained injuries, and to seek information from the abbot.

Images of the tourist’s wounds were being examined by marine experts to find out whether they were from shark bites.

The deputy governor on Tuesday took officials to visit the 54-year-old Norwegian at Bangkok Hua Hin Hospital.

Dr Pongsak Boonyaleephan, assistant director of the hospital, said the tourist was admitted on the evening of April 15 with severe wounds to his left foot. The patient was given 19 stitches and his wounds gradually improved, said the doctor.

Ms Amornrat Paeng-nga, wife of the injured tourist, said her husband did not want to blame anyone for what happened. She wanted to thank people who rushed her husband to a hospital.

Her family loved Hua Hin, said the woman, and the incident would not discourage them from coming back to visit every year. 


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