Man may regret sitting on coral for million-baht selfie

Photo: Wisutr Rattanasathian / Facebook
Photo: Wisutr Rattanasathian / Facebook

The authorities were figuring out what to do today with a vacationer who used endangered coral as an underwater chair.

Wisutr Rattanasathian, 45, turned himself in yesterday after complaints were lodged over a diving trip photo he shared on social media showing him sitting on a coral reef in the gulf just off Koh Khram Noi in Trat province.

He faces fines of up to THB1 million (US$30,000) and 10 years in prison for disturbing the species commonly known as stone coral, which has been deemed endangered since 2003.

Sitting on the coral, or even touching it, can damage its tissue. The reef is protected under the law, and the offending photo was used by the authorities to bring charges against Wisutr.

He apologized and told the police he had no idea the coral is at risk of extinction, saying the photo he shared Saturday was from a year ago.

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