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Tourist Stabbed By Needlefish While Swimming in Thailand

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Tourist Impaled by a Needlefish While Swimming in Thailand

A tourist has been seriously injured after a needlefish impaled him in the neck while he was swimming with other people at a beach in Southern Thailand on Thursday.

Lifeguards and tourists brought Mr. Noppadol Sringam to the shore after he shouted for help at Ao Tan Khu beach in Trat, Thailand around 1 pm.

He was given first aid by lifeguards before being taken to the Trat Hospital.

Needles are almost exclusively found along the shallow coasts of Thailand, according to Suchart Jitmungmanotham, chairman of the Bang Pid Tambon administration organization.

A needlefish is an adept jumper, carnivorous in nature, and distinguished by long, slender jaws with sharp teeth, he said.

According to Mr. Suchart, the fish attack on the tourist was a coincidental occurrence because they had never been seen around Ao Tan Khu beach before.

He said Trat’s Ao Tan Khu beach is a very popular tourist destination, and tourists should always be cautious while swimming in the area.

Needlefish Deaths

On Dec 12, 2018, a Thai soldier was speared through the neck by a needlefish, in what is believed to be only the third such incident ever recorded.

A needlefish incident killed Petty Officer Second Class Kriangsak Pangpanit, 22, during a training exercise with the special forces off the coast of Trat province.

A Thai marine corps spokesperson said Petty officer Pangpanit was training with Thai special forces when he was struck by the long-nosed fish.

A 3ft needlefish swam directly at him after being spooked by his underwater light, reaching speeds of up to 40mph.

The Petty officer’s body and the dead needlefish were found floating on the surface of the ocean a few moments after the death.

Needles, also called ‘long toms’, are found throughout the world’s oceans and are known for leaping out of the water.

There are now only three documented deaths associated with needlefish.

The first was a 10-year-old Hawaiian boy in 1977, the second was a 16-year-old Vietnamese boy, in 2007, and the Petty officer in 2018.

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