Longtail boat capsizes in Thailand, 5 foreign tourists rescued from sea

Photo via NationTV

A longtail boat capsized near Panyi Island in Phang Nga province in southern Thailand yesterday. Seven people, including five foreign tourists, were rescued from the sea.

Two Irish nationals, one Swiss national, two Filipino nationals, one Thai guide, and one Thai boat driver were left floating yesterday afternoon when their longtail boat sank inside Phang Nga Bay National Park, reports NationTV.

The Thai Maritime Enforcement Command Centre (Thai MECC)’s Phang Nga office was informed at around 2pm that a longtail boat capsized near Panyi Island.

Luckily, the tourists received assistance from the Phang Nga Conservation Tour boat, which brought them all safely to shore at Surakun Pier in Krasom subdistrict, Takua Thung district. All of the tourists were wearing life jackets and were thankfully unharmed.

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It is believed that the longtail boat was about one nautical mile from the port when the boat operator lost control and fell into the water, causing the boat to capsize and sink. The relevant agencies are investigating the true cause of the incident.

Last week, a speedboat crashed into a channel marker in Chalong Bay in Phuket, southern Thailand, injuring 37 people.

The boat travelled from the Phi Phi islands and crashed into the huge concrete pillar around 100 metres from the shore of Chalong Bay.

Four Thais, 21 Russians, nine Kazakstanis, one Chinese, one Ukrainian, and one Hong Kong national were injured.

Yesterday, Commander of Phuket Provincial Police Pol. Maj. Gen. Sermphan Sirikong told the Phuket Express that the 29 year old boat driver, Sathith Mardchai, tested positive for methamphetamine following the crash.

Pol. Maj. Gen. Sermphan questioned 19 witnesses who all provided the same testimony that Sathit acted recklessly prior to the crash.

The boat driver was charged under Sections 300 and Sections 390 of the Criminal Code for acting negligently and causing injury to others.

Phuket Immigration assisted injured tourists by helping them to extend their visas.

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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