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Tour speedboat accident investigation underway

Tour speedboat accident investigation underway

PHUKET: Officials have confirmed that 35 people were injured in the tour speedboat accident late yesterday (May 17), when a speedboat carrying 33 Russian tourists slammed into a safe water mark in Chalong Bay.

By The Phuket News

Thursday 18 May 2023, 10:36AM

Only two people on the boat, Thanathip Marine 555, escaped the incident without injury, officials reported.

The confirmation came as Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew chaired an emergency meeting with senior Phuket police and marine officials yesterday evening at Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket Town.

Present at the meeting were Maj Gen Suphaset Chokchai, Deputy Commander of Tourist Police; Phuket Provincial Police Commander Maj Gen Sermphan Sirikong, Dr Weerasak Lorthongkam, Director of Vachira Phuket Hospital; and Ratchadaporn Oin of the Phuket office of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports (MOTS).

There were 37 people on the boat ‒ four Thais, 21 Russians, nine Kazakhstan nationals, one Hong Kong visitor, one Chinese national and one Ukrainian ‒ as it was returning from Phi Phi Island to Chalong when it struck the channel marker, located in Chalong Bay several hundred metres from Chalong Pier.

Those injured comprised four Thais, 21 Russians, all nine Kazakhstan nationals and the Hong Kong visitor and Chinese national.

Six of the injured (two Thais, four Russians) were categorised as suffering ‘code red’ (serious) injuries. A further 16 were categorised as suffering ‘code yellow’ injuries and the remaining 13 categorised as suffering ‘code green’ injuries.

Ten of the injured were taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket Town, nine to Chalong Hospital, two to Dibuk Hospital, five to Bangkok Hospital Siriroj, two to Bangkok Hospital Phuket, two to Phuket Provincial Hospital and five to Mission Hospital.

At the meeting it was confirmed that each of those injured in the accident were covered by law for up to B15,000 in medical expenses. Insurance coverage via Thai Pattana Insurance Company will cover medical expenses of up to B500,000 per person.

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Officials from the Phuket MOTS office, the Tourist Police and the Southern branch of the Tourism and Guide Business Registration Region 2 office had assigned interpreters to facilitate and help the victims, said a report by the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department (PR Phuket).

The officials are also coordinating with the local consuls and embassy representatives, the report added.

Phuket Provincial Police will conduct an investigation into what caused the boat to slam into the channel marker, the report assured.

Officials were “waiting for the results [of the investigation] to come out and will be used as evidence of information to prosecute according to the next law”, the report added.

Natchaphong Pranit, Chief of the Phuket Marine Office, confirmed there were no missing persons and no fatalities from the incident, which occurred shortly before 6pm. A previous report confirmed that emergency officials were informed of the accident at 5:52pm.

The Phuket Marine Office confirmed the boat Thanathip 555 is currently legally registered. The boat, 11.86 metres long and 2.9m across, also had not exceeded its maximum number of passengers.

The captain had suffered a broken leg in the accident, and one of the crew had suffered an injury to the forehead, a report by the Phuket Marine Office confirmed.

“From investigating the cause [of the accident], it was found that it was caused by the negligence of the boat controller, which is under investigation and action by the authorities,” the Phuket Marine Office noted.

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JohnC | 19 May 2023 - 11:55:25

@Kamala Pete. LMAO. Or maybe he 'fell asleep' at the helm, like his land based taxi brethren regularly do.

Kurt | 19 May 2023 - 00:36:12

The well known Pranit, passive problem avoiding Chief Marine Office Chalong Pier, sees at first hand from his desk at 2nd floor the racing incoming tourist tour boats. I forgot or that office has a radar on the roof. But that boat racing, ignored by Chief Pranit, makes his functioning questionable. That should be part of the investigation of this ships disaster! 

Old guy | 18 May 2023 - 20:09:04

@Mj: You're correct about the governor not knowing what to do. Heck, no one in Thailand has ever gotten their job through education or experience. By following directions, never thinking creatively or asking questions It's the Thai way. 

Mj | 18 May 2023 - 14:10:33

The Governor does not know anything about Phuket Province. He has been appointed as a Governor in Phuket by the Government in BKK. We need a Governor who know what a Tourist destination as Phuket need and knows how to handle everything related to Tourism.
The Phuket people should elect the Governor by themselves and not be send from BKK.

Old guy | 18 May 2023 - 12:32:21

A real financial opportunity for all involved hospitals 

Kurt | 18 May 2023 - 12:06:16

Hey, reading who were present at the meeting, I missed presence of the Admiral who is mostly joining in 'land/shore happenings as well! But not now. This was a 'sea accident'. Right?

Kurt | 18 May 2023 - 12:00:49

...negative Phuket tourist image.
Very weak remark of weak Chief Pranit, Phuket Marine office, that there were no fatalities or exceeded nr of max passengers. Big deal! What a minimising down talker clown.

Kamala Pete | 18 May 2023 - 11:59:40

Maybe his brakes failed ??

Kurt | 18 May 2023 - 11:55:47

What ever is financial covered by law or Insurance company, the Governor better make sure that his 'World Class Tourist destination Phuket' at the end forks up all the financial damage of these tourists, totally unneeded caused by a  idiot of a Thai boat driver! No bigger loose face for Phuket than that victims has to pay partly their medical costs. Such would be a enormous negative Phuket...

Mj | 18 May 2023 - 11:23:21

The so called Captain must be blind or on Drugs.
Rewoke his License forever.
I really not hope that the government will come up with an excuse that he drop his phone on the floor and must pick it up or a plastic bag needed to be picked up from the floor.
Daylight and to Hit that big Channel Marker in full speed (Maybe 30 Knots) Unbelivable

Capricornball | 18 May 2023 - 11:06:39

Always a concern when the investigation is left to the police, who view incidents like this as a bonus pay opportunity. The first order of business will be to identify who has the most resources to go after, and the next is to investigate how much they can stuff in their pockets. Justice and compensation to the victims will be limited to what the measly insurance coughs up.

Davew | 18 May 2023 - 10:45:12

Speeding, see them all the time


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