Tour boat allegedly leaves Russian family stranded on island off Pattaya

Tour boat allegedly left Russian family stranded, photo by The Pattaya News.

A tour boat company allegedly left a Russian family of six stranded on an island off Pattaya yesterday. Thai media reported that there were four adults and two children in the family.

The family, who remained anonymous to the press, said they rented a speedboat only identified by a pokemon symbol, Pikachu, to visit Koh Sak yesterday from 11am to 5pm.

The family said the speedboat operator did not return to the agreed meeting point at 5pm. It also did not answer repeated phone calls.

The family grew frightened after the sunset and the island got dark. Fortunately, an island local saw the family and called Tourist Police, who arrived on the island at around 8pm, along with marine lifeguards.

The authorities brought the relieved family back to Pattaya, Pattaya News reported.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Pichaya Kheawpluang said the incident was not unprecedented, however, it usually happened on Koh Larn, albeit rarely, where there are other speed boats and overnight accommodation. This makes it less of a critical issue than it was on Koh Sak, he said.

Pichaya said officials would identify the speed boat operator and summon them for possible legal charges today, January 16. He said the incident badly hurt Pattaya’s tourism.

Since September, Russian tourists have taken Thailand by storm. Thailand, especially Pattaya and Phuket, has always been a popular holiday destination for Russians, with 1.48 million of them arriving in Thailand in 2019.

In December, Russians made up Phuket’s biggest tourist group. In November, Phuket saw 55,097 Russian tourists arriving on its shores. Chartered flights to Phuket and Pattaya were being filled by Russian tourists. Less than two weeks after Russian airlines made their triumphant return to Phuket, Aeroflot announced an increase in direct flights to the island.

The flagship airline of Russia made known on November 12 that it would be adding 14 new flights a week from Russia to Phuket.

Crime NewsPattaya News

Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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