Speaking to a The Phuket News reporter earlier today (July 19), Rawai Mayor Aroon Solos said the possible sightings of a crocodile swimming at Yanui Beach have been reported to Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong and relevant government officials.
“Relevant government agencies are coordinating to search for and catch the crocodile,” Mayor Aroon said.
“People should not swim at Nai Harn and Yanui beaches. Today lifeguards will place red flags along the beach advising beachgoers not to go into the water.
“Local village headmen and municipality officials have also been assigned to watch over the two beaches,” he added.
The first sighting of the crocodile was reported at around 6:20pm yesterday by local resident Somchai Khun Luang, 22.
He told officials that he had gone to Yanui Beach to fish but decided against it due to the weather.
“When I was walking back along the rocks I saw what I believe was a three-metre long crocodile floating in the sea. The crocodile then swam close to the rocks.
“The beach was still quite busy and the crocodile swam back out to sea so I quickly took some photos with my phone,” Mr Somchai said.
Then at 7pm yesterday, Chalong Police received a report from Thanatnan Suepueak who told officers that her son had gone at Yanui Beach and he had also seen a large crocodile floating in the sea.
After receiving the report Col Pakkayot Tanongsak of the Chalong Police ordered Lt Col Sutham Rattana Sawangwon and Lt Thanakrit Eam Chonklum to search the area. They were joined in the search by Deputy Rawai Mayor Thiraphong Thao Daeng, officials from the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation division at Rawai Municipality, Rawai Municipality officials and local village headmen.
Officials searched the area using flash lights and reported that they saw what they believed was red reflecting from the crocodile’s eyes. However, due to weather conditions they could not confirm it was in fact a croc.
Meanwhile, local fishermen told officials that they believe they saw the crocodile at around 3am yesterday morning.