56 Chinese missing in search off Phuket after tourist boats sink

Breaking News July 06, 2018 11:15

By The Thaiger

One Chinese tourist has been found dead and 56 Chinese tourists remained missing after two boats capsized off Phuket on Thursday afternoon, according to a Friday morning update from officials.

Divers are currently scouring the sunken vessel, the Phoenix, for missing people. The tour boat was one of two reported to have capsized. Many other vessels raced for cover in the difficult sea conditions but have reported their position and their passenger numbers to authorities. About 12 boats sought shelter off Koh Racha last night waiting for the weather to abate.

Phuket’s Governor Norraphat Plodthong on Friday morning told media: “One Chinese man found has been found dead. Eleven have sustained injures, two of them have sustained serious injuries, 56 people are still missing.”

He added: “The two Russians on a jet-ski were saved by a local fishing boat.

A yacht named Senerita was carrying 35 tourists, five boat crew members, a tour guide and a photographer, he said, for a total of 42 on board. Of them, 40 who ended up in the sea have been rescued, while two people remain missing.

Missing are boat crew member Aroon Hasanbin and a 30-year-old Chinese tourist, Sun Hua Fang. The boat sank at midnight, said the governor.

The Phoenix dive boat was carrying 105 passengers – 93 tourists and 12 boat crew and tour guides. Rescued are 36 tourists and the 12 boat crew and tour guides. have been saved. A body was found wearing a life jacket, while 58 people remained missing as the sun rose on Friday, said the governor.

“This morning at 9am, two from Senerita were found safe near Koh Kai. So 56 people remain missing,” Norraphat said.

“The Phoenix diving boat owner, Woraluck Rueakchaiyakan, is assisting authorities with the search for those missing,” he said. Ms Woraluck says she is taking care of all the passengers that have been recovered from the tour boat.”

The search resumed this morning at daybreak, using boats, helicopters and also scuba divers.

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