Thai authorities say boat death toll at 10

06 July, 2018, 19:28 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • The first survivors from the boat sinkings earlier today have been brought ashore

One fisherman is still missing after being swept from a Thai fishing boat Thursday near Krabi province.

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

However, there are conflicting reports of how many bodies have been pulled from the water.

Most of the passengers on the larger vessel, a diving boat named the Phoenix, were Chinese tourists, according to Thai authorities.

The search for another 23 people still missing will resume at 5 a.m. Saturday, said Prapan Khanprasang, chief of the Phuket Provincial Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office.

Governor Norraphat Plodthong said 48 passengers were rescued from the boat, with 49 unaccounted for.

More than 90 passengers were onboard when the boat began to keel over, prompting a rescue operation that stretched into the night and left authorities scrambling to react.

They said they were providing food, shelter and water to the people, and if the weather did not clear, larger boats belonging to the navy would be sent to retrieve them.

"There were high winds this evening", he said, adding that a further 10 smaller boats were stranded at sea.

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"We hope that the Thai side can continue their best efforts and.do their best to treat the injured, comfort relatives and deal with other follow up measures", he said.

Some of the bodies were found by divers who entered the wreck on Friday and others were floating in the water, navy official Narong Aurabhakdi said.

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

The second boat was carrying mostly European passengers.

Severe weather is forecast in the area until next Tuesday.

Thailand has a sketchy health and safety record and accidents are common on its roads and busy waterways - especially during the monsoon season which is now biting.

The Royal Thai Marine Corps said in a statement that the Phoenix sank about 7-kms (5 miles) from the shore and the boat had sunk to a depth of about 38-40 metres (yards).

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon has ordered an investigation into why "the boat went to sea" despite a weather warning of strong wind, according to an AFP report.

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