A tourist drowned yesterday after ‘ignoring warnings’ at a notorious waterfall and falling 250ft to his death – while trying to take pictures.
Radwan Sbih, 27, had been with three friends when they walked through the jungle to the top of the treacherous Na Mueang waterfall on holiday island Koh Samui. In July, Paul Nicholls was injured at a nearby waterfall while a second British tourist Luke Scott narrowly survived plunging down the same beauty spot.
Radwan, from Jerusalem in Israel, clambered over rocks to take pictures of the idyllic scenery but lost is footing after slipping on the wet surface.
The holidaymaker’s friends watched in horror as he was swept away by the raging waters – deadly after weeks of heavy rain.
Radwan’s body was repeatedly smashed into jagged rocks and held under the water before it came to rest trapped in the rapids some around 1,000ft down stream.
The emergency services arrived and spent more than an hour using ropes and ladders to reach Radwan’s body and pull it from the water but the tourist, a keen motorcyclist and quad biker, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Rescue worker Patipong Kaewpetch said: ”The emergency call was received on Friday at 2.41pm. A foreigner had fallen into the Na Mueang waterfall.
”In this case they had walked across the river to go to photograph the area. A flash flood had also recently caused a strong flow of water.
”The man fell into the river and disappeared while his two friends were watching.”
The breathtaking waterfalls on the popular holiday island attract tourists from around the world. But they have also gained a repuation for being some of the most dangerous.
In July, ex-Eastenders star Paul Nicholls spent 72 hours trapped in a rock pool at the bottom of the nearby Khun Si waterfall on Koh Samui. The actor suffered a shattered leg – drinking mountain water to survive – and needed several days in hospital to recover.
While British holidaymaker Luke Scott, 20, survived a 260ft drop down the Na Muang 2 waterfall – the same one that claimed the life of the tourist from Israel yesterday.
Teerapong Saowarat, head of the Na Muang Safari Park, said: ‘’There are warning signs and most importantly, the tourists from Israel did not believe them. I want to reccommend to all visitors to believe the warnings and travel signs for their own safety.”
Koh Samui police sherriff Dareon Narong said today (Sat) that authorities would make more warnings to tourists to be careful.
He said: ‘’The deceased and his group of friends went to visit the Na Mueang waterfall. The top is more than 300 metres high and there has been continuous heavy rain.
‘’Mr Sbih walked over slippery rocks on the walkway between two areas. His body was washed away before his friends’ eyes. They asked for help but nobody dared to go into the water because it was so strong.
‘’I directed the emergency rescue staff to coordiate the rescue.
”After this incident we will urge all tourists to be cautious. The tour companies should not bring tourists to a dangerous place. If the areas are dangerous, it should not be recommended for visiting. Their lives could be in danger, as happened in this case.’’