Governor denies shark bit South Korean in Hua Hin

Governor denies shark bit South Korean in Hua Hin

A sign is erected at Sai Noi beach in Hua Hin, Prachuap Khiri Khan, warning people not to go swimming or fishing in the sea around Wat Tham Khao, where sharks were spotted. (Photo by Chaiwat Satyaem)
A sign is erected at Sai Noi beach in Hua Hin, Prachuap Khiri Khan, warning people not to go swimming or fishing in the sea around Wat Tham Khao, where sharks were spotted. (Photo by Chaiwat Satyaem)

PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN: Provincial authorities have denied reports that a South Korean tourist was bitten by a shark off the same beach where a Norwegian tourist was attacked on April 15.

Prachuap Khiri Khan governor Pallop Singhasenee said on Tuesday that a fact-finding inquiry was promptly launched after reports spread that another tourist had been attacked by a shark while swimming at Sai Noi beach in Hua Hin district. 

The inquiry found the South Korean woman had not been bitten by a shark, said the governor. The tourist in fact sustained an ankle injury from a sharp object while swimming at Bo Kaew beach in front of a hotel - for which she received one stitch, said Mr Pallop. 

He insisted there had only been a single shark attack this year.

On April 15, Werner Danielsen, a 54-year-old Norwegian national, was bitten by a bull shark while swimming off Sai Noi beach in Hua Hin district. He suffered tendon damage and received 19 stitches. 

The governor made his remarks as he led officials from the Hua Hin district office, the Hua Hin municipality, the Region 4 Marine and Coastal Resources Office and a local hospital to Sai Noi beach to get first-hand information about the alleged second shark attack as reported on social media.

Reports like that erode faith among tourists, he said, damaging the popularity of Prachuap Khiri Khan.

The governor said concerned agencies would meet today to discuss measures to help the Norwegian tourist after an insurance firm in his country refused to cover his medical bills at Bangkok Hua Hin Hospital. He had now been moved to Srinagarind Hospital in Khon Khon, the home province of his Thai wife.

Sasithorn Kettia, a public health official at Khao Tao health promotion hospital, said hotel staffers had sent a South Korean woman, 60, for treatment at the hospital on April 19. The woman suffered a wound to her right ankle, said Ms Sasithorn, adding the wound was likely to be caused by a sharp object.

When questioned about how she sustained the injury, the tourist said she was swimming in shallow waters when she felt pain in her foot. The South Korean woman’s wound was not a shark bite, confirmed the public health official.

Phriewpan Khotchaphayuk, manager of Saneh Beach Club hotel at Sai Noi beach, said the hotel has helped authorities warn tourists to take exercise caution while swimming off the beach following the shark attack on the Norwegian tourist. Since then, there have been no additional close encounters with sharks.

He was surprised to hear about the report on social media, he said.


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