30-year-old Nicolas Hinckxt, a computer programmer, who worked in Belgium and was of Thai Belgian descent with a Thai mother, was in the country on holiday with four friends who arrived on June 24th last. His wife was also in Thailand with him before tragedy struck last Friday afternoon.

On Sunday, the body of a young Thai Belgian computer programmer who was swept overboard into rapids while white water rafting on the Mae Taeng River on Friday, was found near an elephant camp on the waterway despite prayers for a miracle by his family including his mother who flew in from Belgium on Saturday, his wife and uncle.

Horrifying photos of the moment that Belgian Thai man Nicholas Hinckxt (circled) found himself outside the rubber boat on Friday and then underneath the craft (inset) and eventually adrift in the torrents of water which led him to his death.

The body of a 30-year-old Thai Belgian programmer was found in the Mae Taeng River in the Mae Taeng district of Chiang Mai on Sunday after an accident on Friday afternoon.

The young man was thrown overboard from an inflatable rubber craft while out white water rafting on the fast-flowing torrents near Muang Kued village.

The body of 30-year-old Nicolas Hinckxt was found by rescue teams on Sunday, near the Mae Taman Elephant Camp, some 10 km from where he fell out of the boat on Friday at sometime before 2 pm.

Dramatic photos show man separated from the boat

On Sunday also, pictures emerged showing the moments that the young man was thrown from the boat which appears to have capsized after hitting and being caught between two large river boulders on the raging river.

It also emerged that local authorities closed the waterway while the frantic search for the Belgian of Thai descent continued before his body was found.

Over the weekend, torrential rain and storm conditions hindered the search while it also emerged that after the photo was taken, the man ended up in the river up to his neck and then became separated from the rubber craft.

Other photos show the man caught beneath the boat while another shows him struggling in the middle of the water 

Find confirmed by assistant headman of Muang Kued village to the media after intensive local search

The find was confirmed by the media by the Assistant Village Headman of Muang Kued village nearby, Mr Pruek Nitikorn.

The intensive and desperate search for the body since the man went overboard last Friday had been hampered by strong winds, currents and cloudy water.

Mr Pruek told reporters on Sunday that the body was discovered trapped between large boulders after rescuers focused their attention on those points of the river after the man’s life jacket and helmet were found over the last 48 hours, some 2 km and 6km, respectively from where tragedy struck on Friday.

Life jacket worn by the man found early in the search is believed to have been in a damaged condition

The life jacket, which Mr Hinckxt was wearing, is believed to have been found in a damaged condition while reports from Friday suggest that the Thai Belgian man fell off the boat when it violently smashed into a large rock. 

At a 30-metre distance from the man struggling within the fierce flow of water, a rope as a lifeline was thrown out but the young man was unable to get a hold of it and pull himself to safety. 

The incident was first reported to authorities at approximately 2 pm on Friday and Chainarong Nantasai, the Mae Taeng district chief, launched an operation involving local people, emergency services and volunteers to try to find the stricken man in the violent waterflow.

Thai Belgian man who worked in Europe, joined on the boat outing on Friday by four friends from home

Mr Hinckxt had been on the craft owned by Siam River Adventures and guided by 30-year-old Mr Panya Noibutr, on Friday, along with four other friends who had arrived from Belgium on June 24th last for a holiday. 

The deceased man’s mother had flown in from Belgium on Saturday to help in the search for her son.

His uncle, 66-year-old Mr Amnuay, his mother’s brother, told reporters up to Sunday that the family were praying to God for a miracle.

It is understood that Mr Hinckxt lived and worked in Belgium. He was of Belgian Thai descent with a Thai mother and was in the kingdom for a holiday with his friends and his wife.

His body was transported to a local hospital for a routine autopsy to be later handed over to his family for funeral arrangements.

The Royal Thai Police in Chiang Mai is also reported to be investigating the death of the European tourist.

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