The search began at 8am after the Navy and Marine Police were informed that debris had been found in the water some eight kilometers southwest of Maiton Island.
Koh Maithon itself lies some eight kilometres southwest off the tip of Cape Panwa, on Phuket’s east coast.
Local fishermen passing by found foam crates floating on the sea, and the identification card of Witoon Mahawannasri, 38, from Phayao Province, reported Marine Police Region 8 Chief Col Prasert Srikhunrat.
Navy boat Tor 229 was deployed immediately on receiving the notice, and safely recovered Suthep Hapsup and Arthit Banpoom, who were on one of the two longtail boats that sank in heavy seas, reported the Navy search team.
The search continues for four other people still missing from the other longtail boat: Abi Wareesri (owner), Preechaprakon Hapsup, Witoon Mahawannasri and Nikorn Faipet.
The two boats left Ao Makham, on Phuket’s east coast, at 4:30pm yesterday (June 11) with guests for fishing, Marine Police reported.
The two boats were swamped by large waves and sank about 1.5 miles southwest of Koh Maithon at about 3am, The Phuket News was told.
The search for the missing four continues with the Navy assisted by Marine Police and local fishermen.