Woman drowns after being dragged underwater in freak accident

·2-min read

A tourist died ‘free diving' when a cable wrapped around her arms in Thailand.

Hattaya Rimpanavet, 35, was on a birthday diving trip in Chonburi province, off the coast of Pattaya, when the incident happened on June 13.

While diving in the water near the boat, a sudden gust of wind pushed the buoys towards the swimmers and Hattaya's hands were caught on in the rope.

The tourist was reportedly screaming for help as she could not remove her hands from the tight knot until the rope snapped off the floater and dragged her underwater.

Hattaya's arm became trapped in rope, leading to her death. Source: Viral Press/ Australscope
Hattaya's arm became trapped in rope, leading to her death. Source: Viral Press/ Australscope

Police Lieutenant Colonel Samran Sukto said: ‘A rescue team came to search for her. The area where she was free diving had a depth of 13 to 14 meters.

‘We will be investigating for any neglect of safety procedure and question the persons involved.'

Navy officers found Hattaya around five hours later after she was reported missing. Her right hand was still tied to the cable when she was found.

Diving instructor Tararat Thienphajeekul, 34, said that when Hattaya screamed for help, he swam towards her and tried to remove the rope but it was too tight.

He said: ‘I tired to remove the rope but it was too tight. Another instructor's leg was also caught on the buoy but Hattaya's snapped and pulled her down.'

The group reportedly tried to search for her but decided to contact the police immediately as the current was still too strong.

Hattaya was out free diving when tragedy struck. Source: Viral Press/ Australscope
Hattaya was out free diving when tragedy struck. Source: Viral Press/ Australscope

Body found after five-hour search

The tourist's body was found around 5:15 pm local time, or five hours after she went missing,

Devastated boyfriend Polpat Thanomsub, 35, said Hattaya had always been a nature and sea lover so she decided to go on a free diving trip with loved ones a day after her birthday.

She said: ‘She had just celebrated her birthday and wanted to go free diving with us because she loved the sea and nature. I could not believe that this happened.'

Hattaya's body was taken to the Institute of Forensic Medicine for an autopsy before being returned to relatives for funeral arrangements. Investigations on the incident are ongoing.

- Australscope/ Viral Press

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