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Belgian 30, Missing After Falling Off Boat Whitewater Rafting in Chiang Mai

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Whitewater Rafting in Chiang Mai

Rescue workers in northern Thailand are searching for a Belgian man who fell into the Taeng River while whitewater rafting with three friends on Friday.

As volunteers and divers searched for Nicolas Hinckxt, 30, Chainarong Nantasai, the Mae Taeng district chief in Chiang Mai, coordinated the search effort involving volunteers and divers.

On Friday, the tourist and his two friends participated in river rafting on the Taeng River with Siam River Adventures. All wore life vests while rafting.

The boat struck a large rock in a stretch of rapids at Mueng Keud village at around 2pm, causing Mr. Hinckxt to fall from it. While floating in the river in his life vest, he could not return to the boat.

He couldn’t grab a rope thrown into the river when the boat was about 30 metres away and eventually went missing in the strong current.

The life vest of the man was found about two kilometres away.

Despite heavy rain and strong currents, searchers continued to work into the night on Friday. On Saturday, rescuers and divers resumed the search. The police are investigating the incident.

Whitewater Rafting on the Mae Taeng River

The Mae Taeng River in Chiang Mai is one of the most popular tourist attractions. White water rafting enthusiasts choose to experience rafting here as there are many small and large rapids.

The Mae Taeng River originates in the high mountains on the Thai-Myanmar border. With a length of about 135 kilometres, it flows through Chiang Dao District and meets the Ping River at Mae Taeng District.

There are three phases to the river: Ban Muang Khong to Ban Pa Khao Lam, Ban Pa Khao Lam to Ban Sob Kai, and Ban Sob Kai to Ban Mueang Kuet, which is the most popular for whitewater rafting.

The distance between Ban Sop Kai and Ban Muang Kuet is about 10 kilometres. You will need about two to two and a half hours to complete it. The difficulty of rafting ranges from Level 2 to Level 5.

Along the way, there are five to six large rapids and a few smaller ones.

Read: Tourists Found Dead After Whitewater Rafting Boat Capsizes