Phuket’s PIPO heroes: Two Thai men saved, but waves claim two

Photo via Facebook/ MGR Online ภาคใต้

The Port-in-Port-out (PIPO) authorities in Phuket rescued two Thai men after their fishing boat capsized yesterday. Regrettably, two fishermen lost their lives in this tragic incident.

The authorities were notified that a red fibreglass boat named Baan Kung Mang Korn capsized near an island called Koh Aeo in the Mueang district of Phuket due to powerful waves. There were four locals on the boat, two local fishermen survived and managed to swim back to the coast while two others went missing in the sea.

The boat reportedly departed from Palai Beach in the morning and ended up in trouble in the afternoon.

The authorities launched a search and rescue operation for the missing locals. They managed to locate and rescue two men, identified as 45 year old Rojjanasak Suethom and 46 year old Arbedeen Thummalee. Both men were exhausted after struggling to stay afloat and were transported to Vachira Phuket Hospital.

Officers later discovered the lifeless body of 52 year old Wittaya Malila but another crew member who went overboard, 44 year old Wisit Songkhun, remained missing.

Rojjana revealed that they left Palai Beach at 10am on a 5-metre-long fibreglass boat, with Wisit serving as their boatman. They stopped 30 metres away from Koh Aeo where waves hit heights of 2 to 3 meters while they were fishing from about noon.

Rojjana stated the high waves and choppy waters began pouring into their boat. He tried to scoop it out as fast as possible but failed and the boat capsized.

Rojjana added that he attempted to help his friends but the waves were too strong for him to handle. Arbedeen who got to the coast first, used a fishing rod to pull Rojjana onto Koh Aeo island.

Officers paused the search missing due to the severe weather. The Phuket Tourist Assistance Centre took over the mission and later discovered the dead body of Wisit floating in the sea.

The Thai Meteorological Department warned fishers, fishermen and boat owners that thunderstorms covering 60% of the area are forecast today, with heavy rainfall expected in some areas of Phang Nga, Ranong, Phuket, and Krabi provinces. Additionally, the sea is experiencing waves measuring 1-2 meters in height. In areas affected by thunderstorms, the waves are expected to exceed 2 meters in height.

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at

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