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.
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.
JohnC | 19 May 2023 - 11:55:25