South Korean men drown after collision with wives' golf buggy in Thailand

BANGKOK (AFP) - The bodies of two South Korean men who drowned while golfing in northern Thailand have been found, police said on Thursday (Dec 27), after their wives' buggy collided with their own, knocking them into a river.

The group were on a ferry preparing to cross the river that runs through the course when the men - who were in one buggy - were accidentally rammed by their wives in another.

The impact threw them all into the muddy waters, said district police Lieutenant-Colonel Suwat Suawatmontri.

The women were promptly rescued by nearby fishermen.

More than 50 rescue workers from the military and police were involved in the search for the missing men - Jun Yong Sung, 68, and Jaeoong Ha, 76.

One body was found on Wednesday night about 2km from the accident site, while the other was discovered by villagers on Thursday morning "floating near a temple", Lt-Col Suwat said.

"Their wives said both are able to swim but I think the cause of drowning was the strong undercurrent," he added.

The two couples arrived in Thailand on Christmas Eve for a holiday.

Thailand typically draws more than 35 million visitors each year.

But tourism took a hit in 2018 after a ferry carrying Chinese tourists in southern Thailand sank in July, with a death toll of 47 people.

The accident, which highlighted lax safety rules in the tourism sector, left Chinese tourists wary and caused an immediate drop in visitor numbers.

Thai authorities have been scrambling to remake the country's image since then, reacting swiftly to any issues facing tourists, especially from China.