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Iranian tourist missing, feared dead, after Phang Nga rafting accident

Iranian tourist missing, feared dead, after Phang Nga rafting accident

PHUKET: An Iranian tourist staying in Patong is missing, feared dead, after a river rafting accident during a day-trip to Phang Nga.

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Wednesday 30 March 2022, 01:30PM

UPDATE: One of the search teams found Mr Behzadifar’s body on the bank of the stream on Wednesday afternoon.

The Tourist Assistance Centre (TAC), set up by the Ministry of Tourism & Sports, was informed of the incident by the Subdistrict Chief (Kamnan) of Song Phraek, in Phang Nga’s Muang District, at 5:30pm yesterday (Mar 29).

The missing tourist was named as Iranian national Javad Behzadifar, 42.

Mr Behzadifar and his wife arrived in Phuket on Mar 24 and were staying at a hotel in Patong, said the TAC report.

The couple were scheduled to return to Iran on Friday (April 1).

Mr Behzadifar and his wife had joined a rafting trip in Song Phraek Subdistrict, Phang Nga.

The rafting tour on Khlong Ra began at 3pm with five people in the raft, two of them tour staff as rowing personnel.

In the fast current, the raft struck a large rock then a pylon under the Poon Bridge in Moo 8, Tambon Nop Pring, causing the raft to capsize.

Sinea Phuket

While all the other people in the raft were dumped into the water, Mr Behzadifar remained trapped in the upturned raft as he had secured his legs to the raft with rope*, the report said.

The upturned raft remained pinned against the pylon and a large rock as people rushed to help him. They managed to free the raft from the rock, but the fast current quickly swept it downstream.

A search for him quickly ensued. Search teams found the raft, but not Mr Behzadifar.

The search is continuing, the report added.

The TAC is to question “Khun Chet”, owner of Multi Adventure Partnership, which organsied the river rafting tour.

The TAC will also contact the Iranian Embassy to discuss the assistance being provided to his wife.

Col Ekkachai Siri of the Phuket Tourist Police confirmed that his officers are assisting with the search and the investigation.

* Col Ekkachai later confirmed that one of Mr Behzadifar’s feet was caught in the rope the runs along the side of the boat, usually used for carrying the boat and for passengers to hold onto.

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Den Alder | 31 March 2022 - 12:14:56

The commentators below have surely never been on a whitewater raft before.

Kurt | 31 March 2022 - 09:49:29

Such a rubber dinghy has no facility/bottom construction to tie up to bottom.

Kurt | 31 March 2022 - 09:47:03

The Thai tourist sector doesn't work with "Safety First".  It works with "The Thai baht first". As a Thai you can initiate any tourist activity without being blocked by safety rules ( and actually being checked). The boat drama's of many years underline that. I red in BP that the man was tangled in a rope, not tied up. Such a rubber dinghy has no facliity/bottom constru...

JohnC | 31 March 2022 - 09:18:16

He secured himself to the raft with rope??? Stupid people will always end up dead! 

Capricornball | 30 March 2022 - 21:58:23

Well, this is to be expected as tourism slowly returns...people putting their trust in untrained numpties to enjoy a vacation activity that ends in a tragic death. 5 people in that crappy little raft seems a bit much, but like everything else, there's probably no idea what the actual holding weight / capacity is. The only thing known is how many baht to overcharge them.

Fascinated | 30 March 2022 - 19:15:34

Given the massive storm yesterday across the southern region mid day yesterday it would have been foolhardy to have taken people on this trip given the volume of water generated. As pointed out in the article there was a fast current. Money before safety- a common theme here which again cost someone their life, He should not have been allowed to be tied to the raft in the first place.


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