Teenage Girl Drowns in Lake on Family Holiday

A 16-year-old girl drowned in a lake Tuesday while on a family holiday in Ratanakkiri province’s Banlung City after attempting to swim without a life jacket, police said Wednesday.

Voeun Sophea was visiting the city with her family from Prey Veng province when she decided to go swimming in Yeak Lom Lake, a popular tourist spot in Yeak Lom commune, said commune police chief Nab Chhon.

“She drowned because she was not wearing a life jacket and the jeans she was wearing made it so that she could not swim well,” he said. “We could not rescue her on time because the lake is so deep.”

According to Mr. Chhon, the accident occurred at about 1:30 p.m., but her body was not recovered until 5:30 p.m.

Ven Choe, head of the Yeak Lom Lake Committee, which oversees the lake, said Voeun Sophea’s death was the first drowning case of the year, but that accidents usually increase during the Khmer New Year holiday, when an average of 10,000 people visit the area.

“We will keep officials there [during the holiday] and we will not let any people swim if they are not wearing life jackets,” he said.

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