Takua Thung Police Deputy Chief Investigator Lt Col Somkhit Khaosang confirmed to The Phuket News yesterday (Aug 3) that Mr Muhammad Fong-la-ae, 68, from Panyi Island, the driver of the Wararat tour boat was charged with exceeding the maximum capacity of a vessel as his boat had a maximum capacity of 16 people, he had 19 passengers on board.
While Mr Suthin Sutthakit, 43, from the Thap Put district of Phang Nga, who was the driver of the 999 Tour 41 tour boat hit by Suthin’s vessel tour boat was charged for not having the correct licence to drive a tour boat, confirmed Col Somkhit.
Nineteen people, including 16 tourists and three Thais, were plucked from the sea near James Bond Island, northeast from Phuket after the collision on Monday.
Among those rescued from the rough weather sea were four tourists from Belgium and 12 tourists from Norway, all sustaining only minor injuries (see story here).
“We are still gathering evidence for what caused the collision. So far they have just been charged with exceeding the maximum capacity and with not having the correct licence. We still must investigate what happened, and then we will give further charges accordingly,” said Col Somkhit.