Body of tug driver found near Rama VIII bridge

Body of tug driver found near Rama VIII bridge

Discovery made 80km from where the boat sank in Ayutthaya on Wednesday

Rescuers lift the body of the operator of the Somchai Tharnkul tugboat from the Chao Phraya River to Siriraj Pier, nearly 80 km from where his boat sank on Wednesday. (Photo: @Ayutthayaruamjai Rescue Facebook page)

The body of a missing tugboat operator was found floating near the Rama VIII Bridge in Bangkok, nearly 80 kilometers from where his boat sank in the Chao Phraya River in Ayutthaya on Wednesday.

Rescuers rushed to the scene after being alerted Saturday morning that the body of a man had been spotted near the bridge.

Relatives confirmed that the body was that of Somchai Tharnkul, driver of the sunken boat. The body was taken to Siriraj pier for examination by police and a medical team.

As medics examined the body, Juthathip Karnkasikhawithee, the boat’s driver’s eldest daughter, broke down in tears upon seeing the tiger tattoo in the middle of her chest and showing it on her wrist. She had bought the watch as a birthday present for her father.

Somchai’s wife Naruemol Tharnkul, 51, is still missing and her relatives are praying for news of her fate soon.

The couple were reported missing when their tugboat sank in the Chao Phraya River in front of Wat Phanan Choeng Voraviharn in Ayutthaya province late Wednesday morning.

The boat was pulling five freight barges towards a jetty in the Nakhon Luang district of the central province.

It sank in the strong current at the confluence of the rain-swollen Chao Phraya and Pasak rivers around 11:15 a.m., the Ayutthaya Ruamjai association’s rescue team reported on its Facebook page.

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