Kamala rescue workers received a report at 12:30pm today (Aug 16) that a tourist had been bitten by an unknown marine animal at Kamala Beach near Kamala Police Station.
Rescue workers arrived at the scene to find a male Japanese tourist with wounds on his left foot.
One rescue worker said, “The male Japanese tourist was surfing 200 metres from the beach. He ran to the beach for help after he discovered that he had been bitten by an unknown marine creature.
“We assisted him with first aid. He said he wanted to go to the hospital by himself,” the rescue worker added.
A local resident said, “The wounds were similar to a barracuda bite. This kind of fish has sharp teeth. We have found that there are a lot of these fish around coral reefs near the shore.”
The Japanese man was later identified by Bangkok Hospital Phuket as Mr Keita Koshigoe, 37.
Dr Kongkiet Kittiwattanawong, Chief of the Marine Endangered Species Unit at the PMBC, noted, “After checking the wounds we believe that it was a Blacktip Reef Shark.
“These sharks can be found near the coral reefs close to the shore in both the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea. These sharks are about one to two metres long at a mature age. They are not fierce. They like to eat small fish. The shark (probably) thought that the Japanese man was a bait, so it attacked,” Dr Kongkiet said.
“This incident was similar to the incident two years ago at Karon Beach (see story here). At that time many marine experts believed that it was a Bull Shark bite. These sharks are very fierce. Some people believed that it was a puffer fish but actually it could also have been a Blacktip Reef Shark."
“There is no need to worry as these incidents happen very rarely,” Dr Kongkiet added.