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Phuket tour boat disaster: 7 more dead found, dozens still missing

PHUKET: A Royal Thai Navy helicopter took to the sky at first light this morning as the search continued in the hope of finding 58 people still missing from the two boat sinkings amid the storm late yesterday afternoon.

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Friday 6 July 2018, 11:24AM

Phuket Governor and accompanying officials walk along Chalong Pier this morning, ahead of seven bodies reported as being transported back to Phuket. Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub

Phuket Governor and accompanying officials walk along Chalong Pier this morning, ahead of seven bodies reported as being transported back to Phuket. Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub

UPDATE:  The two people missing from the Serenata - boat mechanic Aroon Habinsun and 30-year-old Chinese tourist Sun Hua Fang - were recovered this morning. They were brought ashore and taken to hospital.

The search continues for 56.

Just before 11am today, officers at Chalong Pier confirmed that seven bodies recovered this morning were being back brought to Phuket at Chalong Pier.

Speaking from the Phuket Marine Office at Chalong Pier, Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong early today (July 6) confirmed that the body of one Chinese tourist had been recovered near Koh Aeo. That body was brought ashore last night. Reporters at the scene confirmed that the body was still wearing a life vest emblazoned with the logo of the Phoenix tour boat that sank yesterday.

Gov Norraphat also confirmed that two tourists recovered last night were in serious condition and a further nine tourists had received hospital treatment for their injuries

The two Russian tourists who were caught by the storm while riding a jet-ski off Koh Racha were rescued by a passing fishing boat, he added.

However, Gov Norraphat this morning revised the number of people missing to 58, up from 53 late last night.

Two people were missing from the Serenata, which sank off Koh Mai Thon, which is now reported to have had 42 people on board – not 39, as consistently reported yesterday.

On board the Senerita were 35 tourists, five crewmen, one guide and one photographer, Gov Norraphat rpeorted.

 The two people still missing were named as boat mechanic Aroon Habinsun and 30-year-old Chinese tourist Sun Hua Fang.

The Phoenix was carrying 105 people – 93 tourists, and 12 crewmen and guides – Gov Norraphat confirmed

Of those 36 tourists and the 12 crew and guides had been rescued, leaving 56 tourists from that boat alone still missing as of this morning.

The two still missing from the Serenata brings the total missing to 58.

As the search continues all boats less than 10 metres in length are banned from putting to sea anywhere across the main tourism islands of Phang Nga Bay, including Phi Phi Island.



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Jor12 | 09 July 2018 - 08:24:58

It's because some clown is referencing safety and crew competence and hoping it would "send shockwaves through China." Having lived in China, it is normal, safety is non existent. Ships overturn, run onto reefs with many hundreds killed everywhere in the world. Same as planes. But do we stop using we don't.

KurtTi | 07 July 2018 - 20:21:48

Have you ever lived in china,"The thai excuse person is derailing again.Nothing to do with china,it is simple the fault of not caring thais.Again and again we can see this.

Pauly44 | 07 July 2018 - 17:13:26

The Phoenix was top heavy not to mention overloaded, get beam on in a squall like that and just a disaster waiting to happen, it's all about the money for the owers who cares about safety right, don't have to have lived in China to understand the cause of this, I hope there are serious repercussions for the owner and crew but then again TIT, aslong as insurance pays probably business as us...

BigA | 07 July 2018 - 08:07:25

Boats less than 10m cant go so  no problem they build them 10.15m and  business as usual .

Rorri_2 | 07 July 2018 - 05:47:11

"You obviously have not lived or been to China", not only knows "everything" about Thailand, and Thais, now wants us to believe he knows "everything" about China, and Chinese, this person is the "smartest" person on earth.

Capt B | 06 July 2018 - 22:29:24

Look @ a picture of the Phoenix, then picture all the passengers & crew on the upper deck. A bit top heavy for a beam on sea. The vessel probably had a "negative righting lever".  When the vessel "heeled" past a certain point, there was no "righting lever".  

Pauly44 | 06 July 2018 - 20:51:08

Why yes I have, even lived there for a while but what difference does that make? This tragedy will have major consequences for Phuket which is long overdue, Thailand can no longer shirk responsibility, if they want the tourist dollars they must be accountable.

Jor12 | 06 July 2018 - 17:02:28

You obviously have not lived or been to China.

Pauly44 | 06 July 2018 - 14:49:34

Nothing is learnt from in Thailand, these tourists are so naiive to believe these boats are safe and the crew are competent, majority of the boats would not even pass for sheltered waters operation where i'm from and the crew are just cowboys out for a buck, no training, sad but true, I hope this news sends shockwaves through China so they abandon Phuket for good, only money talks.

alf | 06 July 2018 - 12:54:28

This is so sad. And it is somewhat shocking as this was so predictable.
Money first, these boats will choose to go in bad weather 99% of the time rather than canceling and refunding the customers. 99% of time no more harm than seasick passengers. And then THIS happens.
I just have the (vain) hope that these deaths will not be useless and something will change.

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