Miracle in the Gulf of Thailand: No casualties reported after ferry sinks

A ferry sank at the Don Sak port in Don Sak district, Surat Thani, on Sunday morning. Picture courtesy of Supapong Chaolan.

Interior Ministry permanent secretary Sutthipong Julcharoen reported no casualties on the ferry that sank en route between Koh Samui and mainland Surat Thani yesterday.

The ferry sank at Don Sak pier after passengers and vehicles had left the vessel. No one was injured, according to the Interior Ministry.

Sutthipong revealed that the R10 ferry of Raja Ferry Co sank at a pier in mainland Don Sak district at about 10am on Sunday, Bangkok Post reported.

Strong waves drove the ferry against the concrete pier, causing it to tilt and then sink to the seabed which was about 4 metres deep. Sutthipong said…

“No one was hurt because all passengers had already left the vessel.”

Sutthipong added that he also ordered officials in southern provinces that face the Gulf of Thailand to keep all boats onshore during rough seas for the safety of the public. Despite the incident, the port continued its services as other piers remained operational.

Ferry, boat and ship sinkings in Thailand are not a new phenomenon. HTMS Sukhothai (FS-442) sank in December last December in the Gulf of Thailand after high winds and strong waves caused seawater to flow into the warship. The flooding caused the engines to fail, and the pumps also became unusable.

Sukhothai continued to take on water until eventually sank overnight. As of January 13, the Royal Thai Navy had rescued 76 sailors and found 24 dead. Five people remained missing.

On February 5, nine Swedish tourists survived after a long-tailed boat capsized in Krabi. The tourists were taking photos on one side of the boat. This tilted the boat which began taking on water and then finally sunk. All passengers were wearing life jackets and were rescued by the authorities.

On January 25, a Malaysian mother and her six-year-old daughter were not as lucky. They died after a long-tail boat capsized in Krabi. The boat’s captain reported that strong waves hit the boat and caused it to capsize near the Hang Nak Cape in Ao Nang.

All four occupants of the boat were left floating in the sea, but a local fishing boat rescued them. Unfortunately, the Malaysian woman and her daughter were already unconscious when they were rescued, and they were later pronounced dead at the hospital.

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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