Thailand: Tourists missing after boat capsizes in Phuket

10 July, 2018, 14:38 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Tourists on the Phoenix PD diving boat are rescued by a trawler after their vessel sank in Phuket on Thursday

Dozens of rescuers - including volunteers and recreational divers - have scoured the waters for two days, in an area known for its reefs.

The boat was carrying 105 people, including 93 tourists, 11 crew and one tour guide when it toppled in 5-meter (16-foot) -high waves on Thursday evening.

Reports in Thai media said police have charged the owner and captain of the stricken ship with carelessness causing death and injury.

The captain, who was not named, has denied the charges. The fates of passengers aboard that vessel are unknown, Sophakarn said.

Divers have been searching inside the submerged vessel for any survivors.

On July 6, helicopters from the 4th Army will join the search, he said.

"One body was found late Thursday, and the remainder on Friday".

"There are so many family members back home waiting on our updates", he said.

"We were helpless at that time", said another Chinese man with the surname of Lin while recalling the last seconds on the capsized "Phoenix".

"There should definitely be compensation (for the accident)", she told Agence France-Presse (AFP) while waiting to be signed into the hospital. I just want to seek justice for my family. "All I want is to identify and claim [my sister's] body and return home".

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Seas were rough on Friday and a weather warning was issued, but that didn't deter several tourist boats and other sea vehicles.

"Even though we are doctors, in this situation, it makes us feel that life is so fragile", said Fang Han Yi, a medical student from China's Wuhan city, who volunteered at the hospital Saturday.

"It's hard... it's traumatic... as you can imagine when you find dead bodies, children, kids, in the arms of the mother in the wreck", said Philippe Entremont, the manager of a Phuket dive shop who was helping coordinate the underwater search.

Rear Adm. Charoenpol Kumrasri, a deputy commander of the Thai navy who is leading the rescue effort, said his hopes that more survivors will be found were diminishing.

Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has announced that he will visit Phuket tomorrow to follow up on the search operation before flying to Tham Luang cave in Chiang Rai where the operation to rescue the 12 boys from the "Moo Pa" ("Wild Boars") football team and their 25-year-old coach from Tham Luang cave began earlier today.

Jin Yilin, consul-general of the Chinese Embassy in Thailand, said a delegation from the Chinese Foreign Ministry is on the way to Thailand.

It also stressed the importance of researching online travel companies when booking overseas trips.

Numerous tourists involved in the accident had booked their trips independently via online tourism platforms, the ministry said.

Visitors to Thailand from China totalled more than 9.8 million people in 2017, constituting the largest share by country of a record 35.38 million foreign tourists in all.

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