Members of the expert “Kraithong Lumnamtapi” team from the Department of Fisheries in Surat Thani – named after the legendary crocodile hunter in Thai folklore – launched a search at Tri Trang after the crocodile was spotted in the area this morning (July 23).
The crocodile was last seen surfacing about 500 metres offshore from Tri Trang Beach, reported members of the team, with officers from Patong Municipality joining the search.
Three jet-skis were launched to scour the waters for the reptile, including to see if the croc was taking refuge among the rocks along the shoreline.
During the patrol, members of the search saw the crocodile floating on the surface. The team stopped at a distance to observe the crocodile and trying to guide it towards the shore, but it quickly submerged after seeing the search team approach.
After waiting for almost two hours, the search team saw no sign of the croc.
Team members explained that the crocodile has been observed to normally surface to breathe every 15 to 30 minutes, and that they believed the crocodile might attempt to escape to nearby Paradise Beach or even further north to Patong Beach.
The team then moved to Paradise Beach and warned tourists not to play in the water, or by the water’s edge.
Kathu District Chief Somprach Prabsongkram said that he has stationed staff to warn tourists at Patong Beach.
“If anyone sees the crocodile they can immediately inform the nearest officer,” he said.
“Don’t get too close because it might scare the crocodile away,” he added, noting that the current efforts were aimed at catching the croc.
Mr Somprach added that he believed the efforts to catch the crocodile would be successful soon.
“The wind and the waves are easing, which will make it easier for us,” he said.