Swansea backpacker, 24, dies after falling into lake while kayaking in Thailand

Body of British man found after three days of search involving scuba divers

Shweta Sharma
Friday 16 February 2024 08:44 GMT
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A British tourist from South Wales, who was reported missing after falling into the deepest part of a lake while kayaking in Thailand, has been confirmed dead.

Shanghaman Gowribalan, 24, was kayaking with his friends in Rajjaprabha Dam Reservoir in Khao Sok National Park in Thailand on Sunday 11 February when he fell in.

His body was found after three days of search involving rescuers and scuba drivers.

The backpacker from Swansea fell into the deepest part of the river, about 500m (1,640 ft) from where he was staying. Gowribalan could not swim to safety and his friend rowed back to shore to seek help from authorities.

A spokesperson for the Khao Sok National Park said his body was recovered on Wednesday and found washed ashore near his accommodation.

"The body was then taken to Ban Ta Khun Hospital while his relatives have been contacted to inform them about the discovery," the statement said.

Aerial view of Rajjaprapha dam Khao sok national park at Suratthani, Thailand

Police Lt Kongyuth Noomuan said they are treating the death of the man as an accident.

A rescue team involving scuba divers, including Danish specialist Ivan Karadzic, carried out the search operation. Mr Karadzic was part of the team that rescued 12 boys and their soccer team coach from Tham Luang cave in Thailand.

The Foreign Office said they were in touch with the family of the British man as well as the local authorities in Thailand.

Worapote Lomlim, a local park director, suggested that the group of tourists could have been violating rules that required a registration for taking out kayaks into the water.

"No registration was found. We believe the two tourists left early in the morning without wearing life jackets. Therefore, the head of the Khao Sok National Park will be investigating the facts."

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