Officials from the Hat Noppharat Thara–Mu Koh Phi Phi National Park in Krabi province and a private boat operator helped 14 Spanish tourists – including four children – return ashore after their boat engine broke down in the rough sea between Koh Phi Phi Don and Koh Phi Phi Le on Saturday afternoon.
The Marine Department’s Krabi office on Sunday continued to warn small boats to stay ashore as strong winds had created waves as high as 2-3 metres.
The video clip of the rescue of the Tiger Marine Charter Co Ltd tour boat with the tourists on board was captured in a video clip and shown to the media on Sunday.
The tourists were evacuated from the boat by the National Park patrol boat and private operator Arisa Group’s boat in a mission that that lasted more than an hour. The rough sea threatened to slam the tour boat onto the two rescuing vessels.
Park chief Woraphot Lomlim said the tour boat had left Phuket to the sea off Krabi but it suffered a mechanical breakdown while returning to Phuket. It took them an hour to finally call for help, as the initial spot had no signal, he said. The park officials and the private boat operator headed to the stranded boat, rescued the tourists and brought them to stay overnight at Koh Phi Phi.
The tour boat was towed for repairs to Ao Ton Sai in Muang Krabi, he said.
The tour boat and the tourists would head back to Phuket on Sunday afternoon, he added.