Search operations for missing Thai TV star Nida “Tangmo” Patcharaveerapong, who fell from a speedboat into the Chao Phraya River on Thursday night, continue this morning (Saturday) after over 33 hours.
The operation resumed at 6.30am with rescue teams searchingthe surface of the water, from Phra Nangklao Bridge to Somdet Phra Pinklao Bridge.
Last night, rescue divers suspended their search at 9pm because conditions were becoming too dangerous.
This afternoon, rescue teams will assess weather conditions and water currents on the river. They say they hope to be able to find the missing TV star today, because the currents are expected to be weak and there are no express boats using the river, which will make it easier for rescuers to work.
Amid intense media interest, the manager and a friend of Nida went to Nonthaburi Police Station last night to provide statements.
Nida’s brother arrived at the police station later to seek more information on the accident, after finding out that her manager and her friend would be making their statements. He said that he does not know Nida’s manager in person, while beseechingeveryone involved to be truthful.
At 9pm, Police Colonel Chaturon Anurakbandit, Superintendent of Nonthaburi Police Station, updated reporters on the progress of the investigation. One of Nida’s friends claimed that it was an accident, while the manager’s statement was being taken separately and would take more time, he said.
All passengers travelling on the same boat as Nida have already given their statements, according to police.
Later on, Tanupat Lerttaweewit, a friend of Nida, who was on the same boat, explained to reporters that they realisedthat the TV star was missing as the speedboat passed theRama 7 Bridge, on its return to its departure point, after they had taken pictures near the Rama 8 Bridge. He explained further that the driver of the speedboat was another friend named Bert.
Tanupat claimed that another female friend saw Nida trying to get her foot back into the boat after urinating over the transom (at the rear of the boat), before she fell off. He added that no one could hear Nida crying for help because of the sound of the engine and very loud music. He insisted that the boat wasn’t travelling at an excessive speed and that the bathroom on board was being used for storage.
He admitted that everyone was drinking wine, purchased from a restaurant in Pathum Thani province, but insisted that they weren’t drunk. After finding out that Nida had fallen off the boat, they searched for her before calling the emergency services for help. He said that they had no intention to hide,but they were in shock and he apologised for the incident.