Nicolaas Hinckxt missing in Tailand, Tom De Graef injured after collision (Mechelen)

Nicolaas Hinckxt missing in Tailand, Tom De Graef injured after collision (Mechelen)
Nicolaas Hinckxt missing in Tailand, Tom De Graef injured after collision (Mechelen)

Thirty-year-old Nicolaas Hinckxt from Mechelen went missing on Friday while rafting in Thailand. The victim’s father left in a hurry on Saturday morning. For Nicolaas and his traveling companions, the holiday had already been ruined earlier this week: their comrade Tom De Graef, also a Malinois, was seriously injured in a collision on Tuesday. He is now awaiting repatriation. There is enormous concern and disbelief among family and friends in our country.

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Today at 09:23

Malinois Nicolaas Hinckxt has been missing since Friday in the Thai region of Chiang Mai. He did not travel alone and was, among others, in the company of his fellow townsman Tom De Graef. Tom was seriously injured in a collision on Tuesday and is now in hospital in Bangkok. “Before he can be repatriated, he is still waiting for a medical check-up,” said those close to him.

What happened to Nicholas on Friday is even more hallucinatory. “The victim was rafting with two friends when he fell from the boat and ended up in the Mae Taeng River,” Thai media reported. “The tour guide threw another rope at the victim, but he didn’t grab it. Not much later he disappeared into the rough waters.” Thai TV channel Channel 7 showed images of Nicholas’s broken helmet and confirmed that his life jacket was also found.

Nicolaas has a Belgian father and a Thai mother. He himself has dual nationality. His wife, with whom he has a son, is Thai. “That’s why the holiday naturally took place in Thailand,” says his niece Elise Hinckxt. Nicolaas’ father left for Thailand on Saturday. The family and friends here are also experiencing difficult moments at the moment. “We know nothing more than what the Thai media reports,” says Elise. “The concern is enormous.”

Heavy rain

The search continued until late Friday night, but rescuers were eventually forced to call it off due to heavy rain. The action continued on Saturday. More than 50 police and rescue workers were on the job, according to a Thai source. Drones were also used to search for the victim, but to no avail.

The manager of Sirinan Villa Nimman in Chiang Mai, the hotel where Nicholas stayed, confirms that his guest has been reported missing. “He made the reservation with us,” he says. “I went to the hotel on Saturday, but none of his party was there anymore. They probably moved to the Mae Tang sub-region, where the accident occurred.”

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Nicolaas Hinckxt missing Tailand Tom Graef injured collision Mechelen


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