Phuket (Thailand), July 6: A dozen of Chinese tourists went missing after their boat capsized off the Phuket island in Thailand. The search for these missing tourists resumed early today with divers scouring the sunken hull, said the local governor. The body of one of the passengers was pulled from the sea late yesterday and brought to shore, shortly before the search was called off for the night.
Helicopters, police and fishing boats were deployed early today as the rescue mission restarted. “We will conduct air searches and send divers to check inside the sunken Phoenix boat,” Noraphat Plothong said. “Police investigators said most of the tourists were wearing life jackets,” when the boat went down, he added.
The Phoenix ran into trouble yesterday afternoon, when it was hammered by five-metre high waves that had been whipped up by a storm. The Phoenix was among several boats that appeared to have ignored a severe weather warning in place since Wednesday to take tourists on day-trips to the islands that dot the seas off Phuket.
The boat, which had left the popular snorkelling spot of Koh Racha to return to Phuket, was carrying 105 passengers, the majority Chinese tourists. “Eleven are injured, of these two are in serious condition,” the governor added. A Chinese consular official arrived at the operations centre in Phuket to monitor the rescue effort.
Thailand is already in the global spotlight for a dramatic rescue mission in the north of the country, after 12 boys and their football coach were trapped in a cave complex.
With inputs from PTI.