Phurpa Lhamo | Punakha

A 45-year-old forester passed away after falling into Phochhu in Punakha while patrolling the river in a boat.

The incident occurred below Tsekha village under Toedwang Gewog on July 16, past 11:30am.

Kuensel learned that he was with four other foresters on the boat when the rapid current threw him off the boat. He was wearing a life jacket and a helmet.

Although, he knew how to swim, he was washed away more than 200 meters downstream.

Another 28-year-old forester who dived into the river to save the deceased was also washed away around three kilometres.

Locals, police and de-suups rescued him and he was admitted to Punakha hospital. He was later released. He is in stable condition.

Foresters patrol the river to control illegal fishing and other activities such as sand theft according to Wandgue’s Chief Forest Officer.

He added that this practice was introduced a couple of years ago but it was the first mishap.

The patrolling is done once every two to three months.

This time, there were two boats with five foresters in each patrolling the Pochhu and the Mochhu rivers.

The deceased is survived by his wife and three children.

Edited by Tshering Palden