Two Young Cousins Drown in Ratanakkiri River

The bodies of two cousins were found floating in the Srepok River in Ratanakkiri province’s Lumphat district on Monday morning, a day after the young men went missing at a family gathering, local police said.

On Sunday, 17-year-old Hang Ny and 20-year-old Huy Ratanak went with their families to spend the day at a popular leisure spot along the river in Chey Uddom commune’s Dey Lo village, where they were last seen swimming in the river at about midday, according to deputy district police chief Den Odorn.

“The two teenagers were seen swimming around in the Srepok River while their parents and relatives were enjoying lunch,” he said, adding that it was only three hours later, as the families were leaving, that they noticed the young men were missing.

Police, commune authorities and local villagers searched for the cousins until about 9 p.m. on Sunday, but it was not until Monday morning that their bodies were found floating about 1 km away from the spot they were last seen, Mr. Odorn said.

“After examining the dead bodies, there’s no sign of murder, but they drowned in the river,” he said.

Chhay Thy, the provincial coordinator for human rights group Adhoc, said the victims’ bodies were handed over Monday to their families, who live in the provincial capital of Banlung City.

“It’s a sad case to lose two teenagers who are relatives, but the parents and the tourism site managers should now pay attention to reminding kids to wear life jackets properly when taking a swim,” he said.

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