Homeless Man Found Drifting on Homemade Plastic Bottle Raft Off Pattaya Coast

Pattaya —

A homeless man was safely rescued from the Pattaya sea after he tried to sail to Koh Larn on a raft he built himself out of plastic bottles.

The incident was reported to the Pattaya Marine Disaster Prevention around 11:00 AM on Tuesday, March 12th, 2024, by a group of speedboat operators. The operators reported seeing a man sitting on a plastic bottle raft in the middle of the sea, approximately 2.4 kilometers away from Bali Hai Pier.

Upon reaching the location, authorities found a Thai man, identified only as Uncle Somkiat (53), sitting on an 80×300 cm raft made from several plastic bottles. The man, whose full name was not known, brought with him some clothes, beverages, and food. He was exhausted and unable to paddle back to shore due to strong currents. The rescue team assisted him onto their boat and towed the makeshift raft back to safety.

According to authorities, Uncle Somkiat, believed to be homeless, had built the raft from used plastic bottles he collected from bins around Pattaya. He set off on his journey towards Koh Larn around 4:00 AM on March 12th. However, strong currents and wind pushed him off course, leaving him stranded near Koh Joon. Fortunately, a passing speedboat group spotted him, leading to his dramatic rescue.

The Pattaya News reporters attempted to find Uncle Somkiat for further comment but were unsuccessful. Local residents stated that Uncle Somkiat was homeless and had been seen constructing the raft for some time; however, they never imagined he would actually set sail out to sea.

It was unclear why he wanted to sail to Koh Larn, which is easily accessible from the Bali Hai Pier.


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Aim Tanakorn
The local news translator at The Pattaya News. Aim is a twenty-four year old who currently lives in Bangkok. Interested in English translation, story-telling, and entrepreneurship, he believes that hard-working is an indispensable component of every success in this world.