Dozens missing after tourist boat capsizes off Thailand

Erika Holt
July 8, 2018

"We have sent boats to help", Rear Admiral Somnuk Prempramote, commander of the Royal Thai Navy Region 3.

Rescuers pulled some 37 bodies from the water on Friday and the Phuket provincial government has said the island's morgue is full, with Chinese authorities requesting 40 further refrigeration units. It quoted the envoy calling on Thailand to quickly mobilize an intensive search for the missing and "to tend and make appropriate arrangements for the rescued Chinese tourists, treat and cure the injured and receive family members of the Chinese tourists involved".

People wait for information about the rescue at a dock in Phuket, Thailand, July 6, 2018.

Thai authorities have resumed a search for 23 missing people following a tragic tourist boat sinking this week. "At least two (more) bodies will be transferred to this port soon", Archayon Kraithong, deputy commissioner of Thailand's Tourist police.

Some cried while others appeared dazed as they walked around still wearing their life vests.

Rescuers continued to comb the sea around Phuket for the remaining 16 missing Chinese tourists, said the department in a statement.

Twelve bodies were retrieved by the navy, who said "quite a few" bodies had also been found inside the sunken vessel.

One day after bad weather and rough seas sank a boat carrying 105 people off the Thai resort island of Phuket, rescue workers began the grim task of collecting bodies instead of survivors such as this woman from the water.

The missing passengers are believed to have been trapped inside the Phoenix as it sank in the Andaman Sea.

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Dozens of survivors gather with many requiring medical treatment.

A Chinese tour operator based in the central province of Hunan said on its official Sina Weibo account that three travellers it had booked were missing.

"Be careful ... nature is not a joke", Surachate wrote.

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.

"The skies were clear when we went out, we had no idea the weather could change so fast", said Wu Jun, 28, from the hospital bedside of his wife Long Hai Ning.

Phuket officials had earlier issued a warning of severe weather until Tuesday, including heavy rain and winds.

Several other vessels hit trouble late yesterday evening.

Panas Theerawanitkul, an executive of Bangkok Insurance, confirmed that T.C. Blue Dream Co, which operated the Phoenix, was insured by his firm, reported the Bangkok Post.

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