The search resumed yesterday after it was suspended due to storm weather that hit the area yesterday morning.
The body is the 43rd to be recovered since the rescue-recovery began.
Navy patrol boat Tor 234 arrived at the pier at Cape Panwa at 8:30pm. The body was brought ashore and transported to Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket Town.
The search teams confirmed the body was recovered from the water between koh Dok Mai and Koh Mai Thon.
As of yesterday officials without explanation revised the number of people believed to be on board the Phoenix when it sank to 89, compared with 105 as the consistently previously reported official number.
Of the “89”, 37 people were rescued. The woman’s body recovered last night brings the total number of bodies recovered to 43.
Of the nine remaining, five are now being reported as not having boarded the boat at all. However, as of yesterday, Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong said that officials had yet to receive official confirmation that the report was accurate.
Of the four left, today’s search teams now report that only three people remain unaccounted for as one of the four is the body yet to be recovered from being trapped under the Phoenix on the seabed.
The incredible reduction in the number of people now believed to be missing as only three follows officials revising the number of people believed to have been on board the Phoenix at the time the boat sank from 105 to 89 yesterday with no explanation (see story here).
Even after that revision yesterday, the number of people believed missing continues to vary.
Many reports yesterday revised the number from 15 people as still missing to 10. Even the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) reported yesterday after the total number was revised and after Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha’s visit that 11 people were still missing (see TAT report here).
At 5pm on Saturday (July 7), the TAT reported 15 people as still missing (see story here), causing more confusion over the five now found as announced by Phuket Governor Norraphat (as reported above) only accounting for four people now no longer considered missing.
Today the number stands at three.
As for recovering the body trapped under the boat, Vice Admiral Somnuk Preampramot, Commander of the Royal Thai Navy Third Area Command at Cape Panwa, last night confirmed that attempts to recover the body today (July 10) if the weather proved to be safe enough.
“If the wind is calm, we will be able to recover the body,” he said.
“The plan is to use skilled divers from the Royal Thai Navy to blow sand from out under the boat with an air compressor then have four ropes tied around the boat and have it dragged to one side so divers can get in and get the body,” he added.
“At the same, divers will check the boat and around it to make sure no other bodies are in the area,” V/Adm Somnuk.