Four of the five young Pchum Ben holiday revellers who were swept out to sea while playing in the water at Chum Teav Mao beach in Bit Traing commune of Preah Sihanouk province's Prey Nop district on the evening of October 7 had died.

According to provincial authorities, the five – three boys and two girls – were siblings aged 10 to 25. Only their 10-year-old brother, Leng Sokchea, was saved in a painstaking rescue operation that ended in the early hours of October 8.

Leng Yoeung, the father, said his five children were playing in the water when one of them, 12-year-old Leng Dao, drowned. The four attempted to save him, only to get swept out to sea. Three of them disappeared while two were found with Sokchea, who was wearing a swimming buoy, surviving the tragedy after admission to hospital.

The provincial administration said that before the incident, it had deployed tourism police and coastguards for timely intervention in unforeseen incidents and had also placed safety and warning signs on the beaches in the popular costal town.

The administration said that on October 5, an 11-year-old girl was also rescued from the water at the same location.