Thai tour boat tragedy kills eight, leaves over 50 Chinese tourists missing

 Friday, July 6, 2018 


Thai-boat-tragedySeven bodies were pulled out from the waters off Phuket on Friday bringing down the known death toll to eight while they searched for several Chinese travellers who went missing after a boat capsized in rough seas off the southern Thailand island, Phuket.


Divers were also urged to search the sunken tour boat vessel for more bodies.


The boat named ‘Phoenix’ was carrying 105 people in the Andaman Sea when it keeled over on Thursday afternoon after it was hit by massive waves. Police had mentioned on Friday morning that 56 people were missing though it is yet to be clear as to how many of those were tourists as there were 11 crew and a tour guide on board.


However a very grim announcement was made around midday that said that seven people were discovered to be dead on Friday morning as per Busaya Jaipiem who is a spokeswoman for Phuket province.


Phuket Governor Noraphat Plothong said that they would be conducting air searches to check inside the Phoenix boat.


He then went on to assert that police investigators mentioned that most of the tourists were clad in life jackets and that it is assumed that they were trapped inside the boat.


Noraphat had said on Thursday that 48 people were rescued.


The body of a man wearing a life jacket with the logo of the Phoenix was pulled from the sea late Thursday. Police later said he was a Chinese national.


The victim was found near one of a string of islands off Phuket’s coast.


The boat was returning to Phuket from the island of Koh Racha at around 4pm when a storm hit, according to the captain, who identified himself as Somjing Boontham in a certain televised interview.


He said that the boat was hit by five-metre-high waves, flooding the boat, which started to slowly keel over, prompting him to warn passengers to put on life jackets and trigger inflatable life rafts.


Governor Noraphat said that Phuket officials had issued a weather warning on Wednesday alerting the public about impending storms.


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