A 81-year-old woman who slipped and fell into the Chao Phraya River in the early hours of Tuesday was found alive and safe four-hours later and 20 kilometres downstream, clutching the side of a floating fish basket.
Grandma Ree, of tambon Ban Pom in Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya district, toppled into the river around 3am on Tuesday. She was quickly swept way,
Around 7am a fish farmer saw her in the river holding onto a krachang pla, a floating fish-raising basket, in tambon Bang Padaeng in Bang Pa-in district about 20km down river from her home.
Apichart Suksomboon, chairman of Ban Pom tambon administration organisation, said the man pulled her safely to shore. She was wearing a pha thung (wraparound skirt) and still had the blanket she had been holding when she fell in the river.
Grandma Ree was given a health check-up and then taken back home, apparently none-the worse.
Mr Apichart said she was fortunate indeed. The river current was very strong, and it was the middle of the night when she fell in. The 81-year-old had been floating in the river for four hours and travelled 20 kilometres, and was found in another district.
He said Grandma Ree knew how to swim, but he had no words to explain the incident other than “incredible”.
Mr Apichart said she had been carried down river through the whirlpools in front of Wat Sanamchai, in Bang Kraba-Wat Phananchoeng area, where the Chao Phraya and Pasak rivers met, and beneath Ayothaya bridge.
According to a Daily News report, the elderly woman said she left her daughter’s house and went to the river to swim. She swam and floated in the river until she reached Bang Pa-in.
However, Mr Apichart was quoted in other reports saying she slipped and fell in.
Her worried family and neighbours were delighted to hear she survived her ordeal.
Ayutthaya deputy governor Nutchanart Pratheeptheeranan was due to visit her in tambon Ban Pom on Wednesday.
Grandma Ree, of tambon Ban Pom of Phra Nakhon Si A