‘Drowned Man’ Rises, Startles Rescue Workers

Amnat Fannang, 30, sleeping in the canal.

CHAI NAT — Police officers and rescue workers were in for a surprise Thursday when a “dead body” they were supposed to retrieve opened his eyes and greeted them instead.

The man, who said he got drunk before passing out at 3am, was spotted in a canal in Chai Nat province by onlookers who reported the apparent drowning to police. It was only when rescuers approached him to bag his body that Amnat Fannang came to his senses.

“When I reached Mr. Amnat, I found him waking up and opening his eyes,” rescue worker Nipon Panyathorn said. “But I wasn’t shocked, because I was just joking before I went into the canal about what would happen if he opened his eyes!”

Amnat, 30, turned out to be enjoying a drunken sleep in the canal, with only his nose visible above the waterline. Nipon said he had never seen anyone sleep like that throughout his career retrieving dead bodies.

“Usually when I see someone lying like that, they’re definitely dead,” Nipon recounted. “In my 10 years of work, I have never seen anything like this. This is the first case. He was very still for two, three hours.”

Speaking to police officers – some of whom were already collecting evidence and setting up a crime scene prior to his “resurrection” – Amnat said he went out drinking with his friends in Suphanburi province until 3am last night and got roundly intoxicated (like a true Suphanburian).

The man recalled taking a bus to a rest stop to wait for another bus home, but felt the need to lie down. The weather was hot, and he didn’t want to disturb other passengers, so he did what he thought was the best solution: sleeping in the nearby canal.

With the water almost up to his nose, Amnat slid into a blissful sleep until Nipon was about to put a body identification tag on him. As he blinked at the sunlight and rose, a crowd of onlookers cheered in relief to see that Amnat wasn’t dead after all.

“I was afraid his ghost would haunt me!” one resident said.

Amnat was given a ride to his home in Manorom district by one of the onlookers.

Amnat Fannang moments after waking up.