Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

Phuket tour boat fire investigation underway

PHUKET: Officials have confirmed that an investigation is underway into the fire that destroyed a tour boat during an island day trip off Phuket yesterday (Aug 13).

By The Phuket News

Tuesday 14 August 2018, 12:42PM

Wanchart Oonkhao (right), captain of the ’BBC Lion 9’, reports the incident to police yesterday (Aug 13).   Screengrab: Eakkapop Thongtub

Wanchart Oonkhao (right), captain of the ’BBC Lion 9’, reports the incident to police yesterday (Aug 13). Screengrab: Eakkapop Thongtub

Meanwhile, the only person injured in the fire, the boat’s mechanic, Soongiblee Haramchai, 32, is recovering from his injuries, officials report.

Mr Soongiblee suffered burns to 50% of his body in the fire. He was taken to Thalang Hospital, where he is receiving treatment for his burns.

His condition is improving after he underwent an operation, but his burns still need close attention, officials noted.

The twin-hulled fibreglass tour boat BBC Lion 9 picked up 19 tourists, 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 in Phang Nga.

The 19 tourists were confirmed as 12 French, four South African, two Spanish and one American.

The captain of the boat, Wanchart Oonkhao, reported the incident at Khlok Kloy Police Station in Phang Nga yesterday.

He explained that the boat had stopped at the bay to allow the tourists to relax and swim.

EPL Prediction Competition 2018-2019

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. (See story here.)

According to a report by the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department, investigators from the Phuket Marine Office are to question Mr Wanchart today (Aug 14).

Efforts to recover the charred remains of the hull – as the fire burnt the boat down to the waterline – are also to begin today.

Ramet Wongdom, who was the tour guide on board the boat at the time of the incident, and others are also to be questioned.

The report did not name the owner of the boat or the company that operates tours on it, but did confirm that the Ministry of Tourism & Sports ‘Tourist Assistance Centre’ (TAC) had been ordered to investigate the tourism business registration of the “boat’s company”.

The Phuket branch of the Tourism Business and Guide Registration Office is to invite representatives from the tour company to answer questions about the incident “soon”, the report added.

The Phuket Provincial Office of the Ministry of Tourism & Sports has also ordered the officers from the Tourist Assistance Centre to support and help tourists, the report noted, adding that the Phuket office of the Consumer Protection Board is to ensure that compensation from the covering insurance company, Thai Patthana Insurance, is upheld

Thai Patthana Insurance is already providing support for Mr Soongiblee’s medical treatment, the report said.



Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters

Kurt | 14 August 2018 - 19:13:33

Underway-underway-underway. Do they really not know/realise their own shortcomings in their jobs on board?Three explosions, than it is clear what happen.
Questioning the tour guide? The tour guide would have been ashore, with the tourists when the happening took place. Right? Question the mechanic.

Nasa12 | 14 August 2018 - 16:00:24

Set up a committee as usual, and spend 90 days ++ for so get nothing ridiculous and total useless. 

Have a news tip-off? Click here


Phuket community
Amnesty strips Aung San Suu Kyi of highest honour

Very Good! Pity that Nobel Price regulations not able to cancel/take back a Nobel Price. Perhaps wi...(Read More)

Phuket man nabbed with over 52,000 ya bah pills, ya ice

Many coffee shops closing down,rules of selling weed getting stricter.They are tolerant towards soft...(Read More)

Finances blamed for Phuket DJ suicide

Dekas,you nailed it ! Whenever i thought it can't get any lower here,the one person comes up and...(Read More)

Amnesty strips Aung San Suu Kyi of highest honour

It is usually a terrible mistake to use role models to promote progressive agendas. It usually back...(Read More)

Weather warning for Phuket remains in effect

Hardly any rain last few days, and almost no wind. Strange weather report. So, how are things going ...(Read More)

Finances blamed for Phuket DJ suicide

@ Wiesel, I love Thailand and the thai people. I not like thai officials incompetence, lack of law ...(Read More)

Phuket man nabbed with over 52,000 ya bah pills, ya ice

Pascale, like me, you could have seen BBC World and CNN about the Dutch tolerance, and thai visitors...(Read More)

Wildlife officials arrest slow loris tout at Bang Tao Beach

7 RTP officers ( in office) on a slow loris case. A case brought up mostly by others ( tourists) as ...(Read More)

Finances blamed for Phuket DJ suicide

@DEK, so, it is not a campaign against officials, they campaign against themselves all the time, you...(Read More)

Finances blamed for Phuket DJ suicide

@ DEK, understand many jobs gone/going due to the official regimental small thinker tourist approach...(Read More)