Navy diver dies in freak needlefish attack in Trat

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A Sattahip-based sailor died after suffering a freak attack from a needlefish while doing a training dive in Trat.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Kriengsak Pengpinit sustained fatal blood loss after the large fish – also known as the houndfish – apparently sliced open his neck while 12 meters under the surface.

Needlefish attacks are extremely rare, but experts say that when they do occur they are often fatal. The needlefish is long and slender and often referred to as a “living spear” because of its sharp snout. It can grow to up to 120 centimeters long.

Kriengsak was participating in his last day of underwater training for the navy’s RECON program, a unit in which his late father had served. He had one more month until graduation and achieving a goal he set to honor his father’s memory.

Kriengsak is survived by mother Pannee Pengpinit, 46, and younger brother Peerapol Pengpinit, 17. The navy promised financial support for the family as Kriengsak died while on duty.