Brave locals plunged into raging torrents on a deadly river to catch their supper after a dam was opened during floods in Thailand.
Footage shows excited villagers wearing life vests before jumping from a bridge into fast-flowing water to grab the huge catfish as they passed in Yala province on January 7.
Several large creatures were seen floating along the gushing river outside the Banglang Dam’s floodgates, which were opened to manage floods which had battered the area last week.
Villagers leapt in the water to grab the fish whenever they were spotted being dragged along the surface.
Some of the men clung to branches to reach the areas with a stronger current while others swam through the water before climbing back ashore.
Usman Manusae, 25, who lives near the dam, said he caught several varieties of fish on the river.
He said: ‘I’m so happy about my catch. I’ve caught a giant catfish, an iridescent shark, and a mango fish.”
The catfish he caught weighed 9 kg, which is the average size of the fish on the river and can be sold for up to 700 Baht (17.20GBP) while smaller ones cost Baht 500 Baht (12.30GBP).
The floodgates were opened after heavy rain from the northeast monsoon last week caused the water levels to rise, and swamp large parts of the region including neighbouring provinces. Malaysia also suffered severe floods from the same storms.
Thailand’s Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation said that residents in at least 40,000 homes in the southern provinces of Yala, Songklha, Narathiwat and Pattani, have been moved to safety. They said that at least one person has died and 100,000 people have been affected in the region.
Flooded communities have been given water pumps survival kits, while local officials are gauging the damage to public infrastructure and people’s houses.
The Department of Fisheries also released fish at the dam prior to the opening of the floodgates so they could breed in the river.