1-handed Pattaya farmer plucks floating melons from flooded field

Mangkorn Santaveesuk fell asleep to the soothing sounds of light rain, but awoke to a cacophony of frogs announcing his watermelon and cane fields were flooded.

A one-handed Pattaya watermelon farmer fell asleep in his field and awoke to find his crop under water.

Mangkorn Santaveesuk, 64, was found picking up melons floating in his field on Soi Wat Boonkanjanaram Sept. 9. Most cannot be sold, so he plans to donate the fruit to the Pattaya elephant camp for the animals.

The farmer, who lost a hand long ago in a sugar cane machine, rents farmland on the South Pattaya soi to grow cane and watermelons.

On Sept. 8, Mangkorn said he fell asleep in a hut in the middle of his field. It was only raining lightly at the time, but he was awakened by an army of frogs heralding the coming flood.

Mangkorn can’t sell the watermelons so he said he would donate them to an elephant camp to help feed the jumbos.

By the time Mangkorn awoke, water was already halfway up the door of his pickup truck. He waded to the vehicle and managed to move it to high ground. But by that time, it was too late to save his crop.

The long-time Pattaya resident said he never recalled flooding as bad as this. The flood damaged all his agricultural equipment, and about ten rai of field land was still underwater a day after the rain stopped.

Help was needed to round up all the floating melons.