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First survivors from Phuket storm tour boat sinkings ashore, 53 still missing

First survivors from Phuket storm tour boat sinkings ashore, 53 still missing

PHUKET: The first survivors of the boats struck by the storm earlier today have been brought ashore, Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong announced at an emergency meeting tonight (July 5).

tourismweatheraccidentsChinesemarineSafetyRussian
By The Phuket News

Thursday 5 July 2018, 10:59PM


The first survivors from the boat sinkings earlier today have been brought ashore. Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub

The first survivors from the boat sinkings earlier today have been brought ashore. Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub

UPDATE: The Phuket News has been informed that rescue teams have recovered the body of one Chinese man, age presumed to be 35-40, which is en route back to Phuket to be brought ashore at Chalong PIer.

At 10:40pm tonight an updated report from Governor Norraphat Plodthong  gave the number of people sought from the Phoenix at the time the boat sank as 105: comprising 93 tourists and  12 guides. The number of crew was not mentioned. The updated report said that 51 people from the Phoenix had been recovered, along with one body - leaving the search for 53 survivors remaining. The search has been suspended for the night, and will resume at 6:30am tomorrow (July 6).


Governor Norraphat reported a total of 138 people in need of rescue from three incidents on the sea today:

  • 97 on board the boat officials named in Thai as ฟิกนิก (likely intended to be "Phoenix"), which was overwhelmed near Koh Hei (Coral Island), south of Phuket;
  • 39 people on board the boat named in Thai tonight as เซเนลิก้า ("Senalika")**, which police reported earlier had sunk off Koh Maithon, southeast of Phuket; and
  •  2 Russians involved in a jet-ski incident near Koh Racha.

So far 89 of the 138 people sought have been recovered, Gov Norraphat reported.

From Ficnic, 48 were taken to Phuket Provincial Hospital in Rassada, with one survivor in critical "red" condition and nine others in "yellow" condition -- leaving 49 still missing.

All 39 people from Senalika had been safely recovered, and the two Russians in the jet-ski incident were both already safe, he said.

La Boucherie

Meanwhile, the search for more survivors goes on.

As a precaution Governor Norraphat ordered all boats not to leave port during the night, leaving 10 boats with 263 registered passengers safely stranded at Koh Racha overnight.

Of note, the official report of the emergency meeting tonight did not mention the word tourists or their nationality, which at this stage is presumed to be Chinese.

Additional reporting by Eakkapop Thontub

** * Later confirmed by the actual name painted on the hull as the "Serenata".

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vegasbaby | 07 July 2018 - 02:07:58

Although the Thai culture puts a low value on human life, to put trusting foreign tourists at the door of death due to poor judgement and inept maritime practices should warrant the most terrible Buddha curse possible.  China should  announce a travel prohibition to Phuket until the tourism sector can get their act together - never happen again.  

Wilma | 06 July 2018 - 10:40:28

Do the governor give 50,000 baht to each family that have lost their loved ones ?
The tour company must be in deep s**t, if the police follow the new enforced law of being a tour  operator. Its a expensive day for the insurance company that has cover for this ?
PLEASE follow up on this, charges to the tour & ticket selling company, boat crew, insurance, compensation to tourist.

Christy Sweet | 06 July 2018 - 08:25:23

I was on the Patong- Kamala coast road at 6 pm last night, conditions looked to be about a category 1 hurricane on Patong bay. We've heard about adverse weather boat bans before.  Welcome to the Thai safety culture.

Nasa12 | 06 July 2018 - 08:00:21

Where is the big smile now ? He tells every Amassades and Consulates that everything is very safe in Phuket now.

Discover Thainess | 06 July 2018 - 05:59:26

What a tragic waste of life. Should make for an uncomfortable conversation with the chinese consulate after all the promises around safety improvements.

Kurt | 06 July 2018 - 05:31:26

The Thursday European midnight news programs ( 5 Am thai time on Friday)show videos/photos of 2 capsized tour boats with Chinese tourists! 
And the governor?  He went out cleaning the island here or there. When they learn not to sail with bad weather in all these poorly maintained boats? It is getting worse after all these ambassadors and Consuls visites to Governor.

Shwe | 06 July 2018 - 05:26:39

There was a bad weather warning on Wednesday, the captains of these boats should be charged with murder

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