Homeless Man in Pattaya Rescued After Setting Sail on Homemade Raft Again

Pattaya —

A middle aged homeless man was rescued for the second time this month after being stranded on a homemade raft off the Pattaya coast.

A video of his journey is here on our YouTube.

On March 18th, 2024, the same man, Uncle Somkiat, whose real name was identified as Mr. Somkiat Mahawan, 53, a Thai citizen from Nakhon Phanom, was spotted relaxing on a homemade raft made from plastic bottles, drifting in the middle of the sea in Pattaya.

This is not the first time this man has found himself in a precarious situation at sea. On March 12th, Uncle Somkiat was rescued after attempting to sail to Koh Larn on a similar self-constructed raft.

Luckily, local authorities located him stranded in a waterway frequented by tourist ferries and safely brought him back to the shore.

After his first rescue, Uncle Somkiat’s whereabouts remained unknown. However, on the evening of March 14th, reporters found him sleeping on his raft near Pattaya Beach in Chonburi.

According to reporters, Uncle Somkiat is a former sailor who spent over 20 years in the Thai monkhood. Once he left the monkhood, he grew tired of life on land and longed for the sea. He traveled to Pattaya from Central Thailand and began collecting and selling bottles to support himself. He stated to reporters that he set sail out along the Pattaya coastline just to relax and alleviate some loneliness.

On Monday, Uncle Somkiat was safely assisted back to the shore by relevant authorities. However, his actions have sparked concern among local residents who fear his repeated ventures into open water pose a serious risk of collision with speedboats. Some are urging authorities to enforce regulations to ensure his safety.

Uncle Somkiat, however, said he sails out to sea on his custom bottle raft as a hobby and is an experienced boatman and is in no danger, aware of the tides and ocean flow around Pattaya. He was so relaxed in the recent situation that he was calmly sleeping on his raft as seen below when authorities arrived.


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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.