Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong said 13 vessels as well as helicopters are patrolling areas all day in the search for the missing after a tourist boat capsized off Koh Hei on Thursday.
"Divers are searching every corner inside the [yacht] Phoenix. Seventeen Chinese volunteer divers are also assisting in the search,” Norraphat told media on Sunday.
The official death toll according to the Phuket PR Office is 38 people dead with 18 still missing. The identification process is underway for the bodies that have been retrieved from the waters off Koh Hei, southwest of Phuket. Search operations are expected to be completed by the end of Sunday.
“The search for missing passengers must be completed by today [Sunday],” the governor said.
“Today [Sunday] five more bodies were recovered. The identification process is taking place at Vachira Hospital in Phuket town. Seventeen bodies have been identified. We are now in the process of advising Chinese Embassy staff.”