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Fear of reprisal by adults prevented a group of boys reporting that one of their friends had trouble swimming and had disappeared underwater at a beach on Koh Sirey, east of Phuket Town, yesterday afternoon.
Phuket City Police, led by Lt Col Chao Pomna, were called to Baan Koh Sireh at 5:45pm, where Payu’s tearful mother Yaowaluck Paireeron, 32, told them that her son went swimming with friends at about midday, but had disappeared.
Rescue workers soon arrived, and recovered his body within 30 minutes if searching the waters.
Schoolmate Kiettisak Thongkaew, 11, told police, “I came with Payu and six other friends to swim at 12:30 and at 1:30 we all swam back to the pier, when Payu shouted that he had no energy to swim back and called out for help.
“We all swam out to try to help him, but we couldn’t. I tried, but he was bigger than me.”
Then Payu disappeared under the water’s surface.
“We all tried to find him, but he was no where to be found,” Kiettisak said, “We were afraid to tell adults because they might blame us, so we waited till later to tell Payu’s mother.”
Police believe that Payu might have suffered a leg cramp.
“But we will question all the boys about the incident,” said Col Chao.