27 dead, dozens missing after Thailand boat capsizes off Phuket


A search will continue today for 58 people, majority tourists, who are still missing after three accidents in strong seas off Phuket involving two jet skis, a dive boat and a yacht on Thursday (July 5) afternoon, according a message posted on Facebook page "Phuket Public Relations" on Friday morning.

The police are investigating the incident, the Phuket Marine Police said, adding the boat was properly registered and was not overloaded at the time of the accident.

"Navy divers, frogmen and marine police divers have already been sent to the scene", Rear Admiral Charoenphon Khumrasee, deputy commander for Thai Navy in the southern region told reporters.

Thailand's navy said nine bodies of Chinese tourists were being brought to Phuket.

Thai rescue divers and a tourist police boat are seen during a search mission for missing passengers from a capsized tourist boat in the water off Phuket, Thailand.

The death toll from a tourist boat accident off the coast of Thailand's Phuket island climbed to 41 on Saturday with 15 people still missing, officials said.

The Phoenix was carrying 105 passengers, the majority Chinese tourists, when it hit trouble, sparking a rescue attempt that took place in the dark.

The confirmed death toll from the accident off the resort island of Phuket stood at 27, but the navy said divers had spotted "quite a few bodies" in the sunken vessel, the Phoenix.

The governor of southern Phuket, Noraphat Plodthong, said: 'There are 53 people missing. The reason for the discrepancies was not clear.

Another boat overturned off Phuket on Thursday. Officials said all 42 on board have been rescued.

Australia's foreign minister says 19 Australian personnel are involved in the Thailand cave rescue operation including a doctor who's played an essential part in assessing which boys can leave and in what order.

In images shortly after the sinking, rescued people sat in large rubber life rafts surrounded by churning seas. Wearing life jackets, the survivors were then moved to the deck of what appeared to be a fishing trawler.

Officials are now considering imposing a ban on boats going to sea in such severe weather conditions.

"We have given warnings ... but the winds are strong."

The Pheonix boat was pummelled by huge waves as high winds whipped up the sea off the popular island of Phuket.

Rescued passengers of capsized tourist boat rest at a port facility in Phuket on July 5, 2018.

It said that 37 of the furniture company's employees and family members had travelled together to Phuket and that on July 5 at around 5pm, they encountered the "biggest storm in five years" and they sought the government's help.

Narongsak said he's not sure if the five people remaining in the cave will be extracted in one or more operations. Ten others, including four women, were found dead.

Such tragedies are not uncommon in Malaysia. The body of a tourist from the boat was found near Koh L. Still missing were 56 tourists.



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