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One injured as fire destroys Phuket tour boat, amid tour

PHUKET: All 20 tourists are safe, but a boat mechanic remains injured, after the tour boat they were on a day trip on caught fire off Phuket earlier today (Aug 13).

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Monday 13 August 2018, 03:09PM

The fire completely destroyed the tour boat off Phuket. Photo: Phuket Tourist Police

The fire completely destroyed the tour boat off Phuket. Photo: Phuket Tourist Police

The twin-hulled fibreglass tour boat BBC Lion 9 picked up the 20 tourists, all from the Middle East, from Laem Sai Pier in Pa Khlok, Thalang, on Phuket’s northeast coast, to take them on a day trip to Ao Maan, in Baan Yan Saba, in Moo 4, Khlong Khian, Takua Thung, Phang Nga.

Initial witness reports placed the incident at Koh Lawa, merely 3.2 kilometres northeast of Laem Khat on Phuket’s northeast coast. Koh Lawa is within Khlong Khian Subdistrict.

The captain of the boat, Wanchart Oonkhao, reported that the boat had stopped at the bay to allow the tourists to relax and swim.

All the tourists were in the water except for one child when there were three distinct explosions on the boat, he said.


With all tourists safely off the boat, Mr Wanchart moved it closer to shore, but was forced to abandon the boat as the flames completely destroyed the vessel.

All 20 tourists were reported to be safe and had been picked up by another boat operating on the same tour schedule, the PR Dept reported.

However, the boat’s mechanic, Soongiblee Haramchai, 32, was injured in the incident and taken to Thalang Hospital.

Marine Department officials are investigating the incident, The Phuket News has been told.



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Christy Sweet | 14 August 2018 - 09:57:02

What if Phuket was China's answer to overpopulation?  People resented that one kid thing. #PhuketCullChinese  I honestly would not doubt it.

vegasbaby | 13 August 2018 - 20:20:06

Safety checks and training are useless when crew members allow smoking and careless use of fuel around cell phones and hot motors  in and around the boats.  This happens all the time - safety knowledge goes unused because of a macho "it will never happen to me"  mentality.

BenPendejo | 13 August 2018 - 18:33:35

Just by luck and chance, the next potential tourist tragedy/disaster is avoided.  Who knows what might have happened if the fire had started 2 hours later. And who knows when the next POS tourboat is gonna blow?  Certainly not any of Phuket's master boat inspectors.  Would also love to know if they've replaced all the toy "flotation devices" with real life jackets. I guess no.

Discover Thainess | 13 August 2018 - 15:43:19

Yep, those “safety inspections” are making things much better. 

Kurt | 13 August 2018 - 15:41:09

Oh oh, continuing story.
Lucky tourists that it not happen during sailing time. That would have cost a lot of lives.
When this vessel had a last time check on safety by experienced professional technical government officials?  Mhh, we all know the answer...  No official government safety certification.

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