The fishing boat P. Chokpaisan reported this morning (Aug 16) that it had recovered four crewman from fellow Phuket fishing boat Bumrungthainawa 1. Three of the crewmen remained alive, but one had died.
The Bumrungthainawa 1 disappeared in rough weather about two nautical miles southwest of Phromthep Cape, Phuket’s southernmost point, at about 8pm.
On board at the time were the captain and eight Myanmar migrant fishing crew.
The Royal Thai Navy this morning is continuing its search for the five missing crew, though the Bumrungthainawa 1 has been located and is already under tow back to Phuket.
The Navy rescue boat Tor 113 was dispatched to search for the Bumrungthainawa 1 last night, but was recalled at 1:30am after failing to find the vessel or any of its crew, said Capt Pongjak Uraiman, commanding officer of the Royal Thai Navy Air Squadron 3.
This morning the Navy dispatched the Tor 113 and another boat, the Tor 993, and a S-76 helicopter to continue the search south of Phuket, where the missing crew are now believed to be, Capt Pongjak added.
At last report, the Navy reported that three more people were spotted in the sea south of Phuket at about 11:30am and that a boat had been directed to recover them.
The search for the missing crew follows the Thailand Meteorological Department (MET) has issued a storm weather alert Sunday from through to Thursday (August 18), with waves in the Andaman coastal region expected to reach heights of up to four metres. (See story here.)
Following that warning, one Russian tourist drowned at Karon beach on Sunday as Phuket Lifeguards closed off sections of Phuket beaches due to strong waves. (See story here.)
Additional reporting by Eakkapop Thongtub