Bodies of two drowned students recovered in Kratie

Villagers and police officials in Kratie look on as officials recover the body of a student who drowned over the weekend.
Villagers and police officials in Kratie look on as officials recover the body of a student who drowned over the weekend. National Police

Authorities today recovered the bodies of two high school students who drowned in the Mekong River after an overloaded boat carrying eight classmates sank over the weekend in Kratie province.

The students from Sela Vety Keat Chhun high school in Chhloung district had boarded the boat on Saturday for a leisurely ride. Around 100 metres from the dock the boat sank, said district police chief Chhong Tovan.

Six of the students swam to shore, but Roeng Sothearith, 17, and Van Puthnirun, 18, disappeared into the water, he said.

“After having searched for three days, on Monday morning at 9:30am, authorities found their bodies in two different places,” he said.

Sothearith’s body was found one kilometre from where the boat sank, while Puthnirun’s body was found in the neighbouring district of Kampong Cham, more than 10 kilometres from where he went missing.

The police chief said that the students rocked the boat as it started to take on water, potentially sinking it.

The bodies were handed over to their families for funeral rituals, Tovan said.