Likely no Nordic Tourists on Boat Capsized off Phuket

A tourist boat, carrying more than 70 passengers, capsized at 15:00 in the afternoon of Saturday 5 March in the high sea off Thailand’s southern resort province of Phuket.
     Police have been unable to determine how many people were missing. Initially, authorities estimated between 10 and 15 people had been lost at sea. The passengers were most likely all local villagers.
     The Marine Police rescued 19 people in not a very serious condition while eight other passengers were in a more serious ciondition. These eight passenger – all Thai nationals – were flown by rescue helicopter to Phuket Vachira Hospital.
     The bodies of ten drowned passengers – also all Thai – were at 18:15 retrieved from the sea.
     The fates of the other passengers, some of whom could still be foreigners, remains not known.
     The medium-sized tourist boat, named “Rung Roj”, was heading from Bangrong harbour on Phuket’s east coast towards Koh Yao when it capsized about half an hour before reaching the island. The boat was 3 meters wide and 15 meters long and approved for maximum 22 passengers.
     Apart from the passengers, the boat carried over 10 motorcycles and some luggages. Most of the passengers were young Thai students from Koh Yao on their way back from entrance examinations to enter highschool in Phuket.
     The boat was facing a strong storm and heavy rain during the journey, according to local journalists.
     “The rescue divers will continue their search through out the night, despite the heavy storm. The victims will be in a very bad stage, if the storm gets worse. It’s also going to be more difficult for the divers to search for them.” says Anuwat Meteewibulwut, governor of Pang Nga.

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