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Beach Closed in Phuket after Crocodile Spotted Swimming Offshore

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PHUKET – Authorities have begun a hunt has for a crocodile spotted swimming offshore from Yanui beach in tambon Rawai of Muang district of Phuket on Wednesday evening and again, nearby, on Thursday.

It was first noticed by Somchai Khunluang, 22, after he arrived at the beach about 6.20pm on Wednesday planning to catch some fish.

As the wind was whipping up strong waves he decided to go back. While walking along the beach he saw a crocodile floating in the sea not far from the shore.

He immediately used his mobile phone to take pictures and phone his mother, Thanannat Suepuek, who called police.

Police and officials who rushed to the beach claimed to have see the croc’s red eyes in their lights.

The animal was sighted again on Thursday morning swimming off Yanui and Nai Harn beaches.

Reports of the multiple sightings sparked panic among local residents and beach goers.

More than 40 police, local officials and fisheries officials swarmed the area on Thursday morning, on the lookout for the fearsome reptile.

Warning signs were erected on the beach, prohibiting swimming in the area, Arun Sophon, mayor of Rawai tambon municipality said.

Municipal officials saw the croc swimming in the sea heading to Sen bay. An assistant village head in tambon Rawai managed to videotape it off Nai Harn beach, and estimated its size at 2-3 metres, the mayor said.

Phuket governor Norraphat Plodthong said a team of skilled crocodile hunters from the Department of Fisheries were on their way to Phuket to catch the reptile, which would be released away from habitation.

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