58 still missing off Phuket after boats capsize
A search will continue today for 58 people, most of them tourists, who are still missing after three accidents in strong seas off Phuket involving two jet skis, a dive boat and a yacht on Thursday (July 5) afternoon, according a message posted on Facebook page “Phuket Public Relations” on Friday morning.
In the message, Phuket governor Norapat Plodthong made a conclusion out of reports from authorities involving in the search and rescue operations that one person was killed, 11 injured (2 seriously), and 58 missing.
In the first accident, two Russian tourists who went out for jet skiing went missing near Koh Racha in rough seas. They were later rescued by fishermen.
In the second accident, a yacht named Seregina with 42 people on board (35 tourists, five crew members, one guide and one photographer) went down between Koh Heh and Koh Mai Thon. Forty had been rescued. Two were still missing – a boat engineer named Aroon Hasanbin and a Chinese tourist.
In the third accident, a dive boat named Phoenix with 105 people on board (93 tourists and 12 crewmen and guides) sank near Koh Heh. Altogether 48 — 36 tourists and 12 crewmen and guides — were rescued. The body of a tourist from the boat was found near Koh L. Still missing were 56 tourists.
To conclude, 58 people — 57 tourists and an engineer — are still missing.
Mr Norapat, the Phuket governor, said in the message that the provincial authorities will today continue to work with sailors from the 3rd Naval Area, marine police, and fishing boats in a search for the missing 58.
On July 6, helicopters from the 4th Army will join the search, he said.
Voralak Rerkchaikal, the owner of the dive boat Phoenix, said her company would cooperate with the ongoing efforts to look for the tourist. The company will be responsible for paying compensation for the injured and the killed and other costs which may incur.
The company will also help take the bodies of the killed to their hometowns for religious rites, she said.