The Captain of the dive boat ‘Phoenix’ claims that four to five metres waves hit the boat causing it to sink.
Smoking Boontham, captain of the dive boat ‘Phoenix’, was carrying 105 passenger – 93 tourists, 12 boat crew and tour guides – says, “Yesterday (July 5) we left Chalong Pier at 9am heading to Koh Racha. After that we were heading back to Chalong pier at 4:30pm.”
“When we were near Mong Cape, about two nautical miles from Koh Hei, 4-5 metres wave hit the front part of our boat. Sea water flushed inside the vessel. The water pump was not fast enough to pump water out and the boat began to lean.”
“I asked all passengers to check their life jackets were secure. Two life rafts were deployed while nearby fishing boats were contacted for help. The boat sank very quickly. We did our best to keep the passengers calm and keep them safe during the chaos.”
“51 of us were rescued by Pattana 11 and 12 fishing boats. Other passengers, I am not sure if they have been rescued by other boats as it was too dark and the weather conditions were very poor.”