Both bodies are believed to be missing crew members of the fishing boat Bumrungthainawa 1, which capsized in a storm conditions off Phuket early last week. (See story here.)
Crew on the local tour boat Hong Fai 29 reported seeing a body about 10km west of Phi Phi Island at about 9:30am, said Capt Pongjak Uraiman, Commanding officer of Naval Air Squadron Third Fleet Area Command.
“Navy rescue boat Tor 993 was sent to recover the body,” Capt Pongjak said.
“Officers on Tor 993 reported there were no wounds on the body. We believe the man had been dead for about five days before his body was found, and so we believe he may have been one the crew from the Bumrungthainawa 1 who are still missing,” he said.
The body was handed over to police on Phi Phi Island, Capt Pongjak added.
“We are on our way to recover another body found at Phi Phi today,” he told The Phuket News this morning.
The Bumrungthainawa 1 disappeared in rough weather about two nautical miles southwest of Phromthep Cape, Phuket’s southernmost point, at about 8pm last Monday (Aug 15) with nine crew, comprising the Thai captain, 58-year-old Prayad Klaewglaharn, and eight Myanmar migrant workers, on board.
Crewmen Aomachu, 26; Jamayu, 30; Mackha, 34, were rescued last Tuesday (Aug 16). Capt Prayad did not survive. His body has been recovered. (See story here.)
A fifth crewman was rescued later on Tuesday. (See story here.)
“Nuea Khlong Hospital in Krabi has informed us that another body was found yesterday and transported to Krabi Hospital,” Capt Pongjak said today, but noted that the bodies had yet to be positively identified as those of the missing crewmen from the Bumrungthainawa 1.
The Navy have now called off their search for missing crew after six days of scouring the seas by air-sea rescue helicopters and patrol search boats.
“We are no longer actively searching for the remainin crew, but we will respond and follow up to all reports of bodies found in the sea or on the shore,” Capt Pongjak said.
UPDATE: Another body has been found washed ashore at Koh Lanta this afternoon (Aug 22), The body is believed to be one of the missing crew, bringing the total number of people rescued and bodies recovered to nine, the full complement of the capsized Bumrungthainawa 1. However, Capt Pongjak noted hat positive identification of the bodies had yet to be conducted.