Tourist ignores signs, falls to his death at waterfall

Rescue workers retrieve the body of the dead tourist from the cliff at Bang Khun Si waterfall on Koh Samui, Surat Thani, on Thursday afternoon. (Photos by Sitthipong Charoenjai)

A 32-year-old Czech man has fallen to his death from a cliff at the Bang Khun Si waterfall on Koh Samui after entering an off-limits section to take a selfie.

Emergency teams retrieved his body from a rock shelf about 30 metres below the top of the waterfall on Thursday afternoon after his companions called for help.

He was travelling in a group of eight Czech tourists who arrived in Thailand on Feb 5 and went straight to Koh Samui. They rented motorcycles to roam the island.

On Thursday they visited Bang Khun Si waterfall.

His travelling companions told police the man walked to the cliff edge to take photographs, ignoring the no entry signs. He was choosing the most beautiful angle for a selfie when he slipped and fell off the cliff. He landed face down on a partially submerged rock shelf.

Male friends reached him in about five minutes and gave him cardiopulmonary resuscitation for 15 minutes, to no avail.

Police, soldiers and rescue workers took about three hours to carefully lift the body back to the top of the slippery cliff on Thursday afternoon. He was taken to Koh Samui Hospital morgue.

Surat Thani tourism chief Samitasak Suttara said the cliff was part of a catchment area at the waterfall and was off limits to visitors, but some tourists ignored the warning signs.

Two other tourists have previously fallen to their death from the cliff, and three others have been injured in falls, he said. The most recent was on Feb 18 this year, when a Russian was injured.

The cliff section of Bang Khun Si waterfall is closed off with warning signs.

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