Pattaya Daily News

07 November 2007 :: 12:11:25 pm 40120

TRAGEDY STRIKES ROWING TEAM AT NAVY SCHOOL; OARSMAN DROWNS 20 METERS FROM SHORE

Disaster struck during a practice session of the Chumphol Navy School rowing team. Their boat sunk just twenty meters off shore. Eleven oarsmen managed to swim back to shore, but one team member had cramps and drowned.
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On 6 November 2007, at 11am, Banglamung Police Sub. Lieutenant Grit In-Gaew was notified that an oarsman from the Champhol Navy School Rowing Team had drowned in Maab Prachan Reservoir. Police, along with divers from Pattaya Sea Rescue and Swang Boriboon Rescue, as well as representatives of the Navy, rushed to the scene.
There were many bystanders viewing the scene of the drowning. Maab Prachan Reservoir is quite large and is approximately twenty meters deep. Rescuers determined that the drowning victim still remained at the bottom of the reservoir, about twenty meters from shore. Three rescue teams took about five hours to find the body of the drowning victim, Mr. Gritsada Thamarong (18), from Petchaburi Province. He was a first year student at Chumphol Navy School, Sattahip. He was also an oarsman on the school rowing team. Mr. Gritsada was clad in a pink T-shirt and black trousers. His body appeared to be pale and constricted.

Sergeant Major Nares Boonpha, (31), a senior oarsman, told officials that he and thirty-seven other oarsmen, from Chumphol Navy School had come to practice for the coming Navy Week competition on 12-14 November, by combining practice with the national team.

The rowing team, consisting of twelve oarsmen; including Mr.Gritsada, were practicing in the middle of the reservoir. Strong winds caused swells of water to crash into the boat and it appeared that the boat was going to sink. The team attempted to get the boat back to shore, but when they were just twenty meters from shore, the boat began to sink. The twelve oarsmen attempted to swim back to shore, but Mr. Gritsada, apparently, developed a cramp and could not make it to shore. He drowned in the presence of his teammates, who could not rescue him in time.

Lieutenant Commander Nares Kempetch, a chief oarsman trainer at Chumphol Navy School, said that Mr. Gritsada had attended the school for over a year. He was a good student, who performed well in school. He was also an oarsman in his former school in Petchaburi Province. The Chomphol Navy School saw his potential and accepted him on the school rowing team. He and his teammates competed in twelve oarsmen Row Boat Competition on 1-4 November and the team had the chance of winning a trophy from Princess Maha Jakri Sirinthorn.

After that event, the school arranged for the team to practice with the national team to compete in Navy Week on 12-14 November. Tragically, the school has lost this young man who had the potential to rise to the national team.

Police officials made an official record of the tragedy and contacted the boy’s family so they can perform religious rituals.

Reporter : Kampee   Photo : Kampee   Category : Crime News

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