Most of the people on board were Chinese tourists.
The statement, issued last night (July 13) via the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department, was addressed to the President of the People’s Republic of China.
“I am deeply saddened by the incident of the tourist boat sinking off Phuket, resulting in the deaths of many Chinese people and causing great loss. I express my deepest condolences to all the families of the deceased lost in this tragic event. You can be assured that Thailand will proceed with the search and provide assistance with our full capacity,” said the statement, written in Thai.
Joining relatives of victims of the disaster at funeral services held at Wat Kosit Wihan last night Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Governor Yuthasak Supasorn, Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong and TAT Southern Thailand Region Director Krisda Ratanapruek.
Also present was Wu Bing Lin, President of the Chinese Community Association, and representatives from the Phuket Tourism Business Association, Phuket Tourism Federation, Thai Hotels Association Southern Thailand chapter, Patong Beach Hotel Association, and the Phuket Chamber of Commerce.
The service last night was one of many being organised by the Ministry of Culture to fulfill the wishes of relatives who want to have their loved ones cremated in Phuket.
According to the PR Dept, families of 45 of the 47 people killed in the disaster have asked to hold funeral services in Phuket for their lost loved ones.
Seven more funerals are to be held tomorrow.
At last report, 31 of the 45 survivors of the disaster have returned home.