A commune police chief from Kandal province was missing and feared drowned after his furniture-laden boat sank on the Mekong as he travelled from his father-in-law’s home in Svay Rieng province to his home in Kandal during the early hours of yesterday morning.
Soam Siborin, 42, police chief of Loeuk Dek district’s Ka’am Samnor commune, had set off from Peam Ror district in Svay Rieng on Sunday night, transporting a large amount of wooden furniture on his boat, which also carried five workers, according to Leuk Dek district police chief Aim Thou.
“The boat sank close to 2am on Monday. His workers could swim, but he is not good at swimming and is now missing. He may have drowned. [Police] are sill looking for him,” he said.
According to police in Svay Rieng’s Peam Ror district, the boat had been loaded with more than 300 kilograms of wooden tables and lounge chairs.
Authorities believe the overloaded boat capsized after making a quick turn.
“It was dark, and his boat crew [at first] did not see a small fishing boat in the distance. It swerved to avoid hitting the small boat and then capsized at a distance of about 500 metres from the riverbank,” a Peam Ror district police officer who declined to be named said.
“His workers swam to the bank, but the commune chief could only make it about 300 metres [before disappearing]. No one saw him after that time. We do not know if he drowned and died or survived.”
Police are continuing their search operations, however the search area is large and will take time to scour, the police officer said.
Ka’am Samnor commune chief Eav Sokun could not be reached for comment.