Israeli man drowns as Phi Phi dive boat capsizes

PHI PHI ISLANDS: An Israeli tourist died this morning when a boat sank off Maya Bay after becoming overwhelmed by stormy conditions.

The boat was returning to Koh Phi Phi Don from a diving trip, said Suriya Kitimonthon, chief of Krabi Marine Office.

Fifty-five tourists were out diving when Suriyan Sroyson, captain and owner of the Jor Kingfisher, noticed dark clouds beginning to form and called the divers back to the boat, said K. Suriya explained.

During the journey back to Ton Sai Bay, a heavy storm set in and the boat was bombarded with large waves and began taking on water, he said.

About 11 am the boat capsized, forcing all 55 passengers and four crew members into the sea.

Israeli Nissim Lugasi, 26, drowned when he became trapped under the boat.

Several nearby boats came to render assistance to the sea-stranded victims and transported them back to Koh Phi Phi Don.

Another Israeli man, Adam Berbichevsky, 23, suffered deep lacerations to his legs from the dive boat’s propeller. He was taken to Phi Phi Hospital.

Adverse weather conditions delayed his transfer by speedboat to Phuket, though he eventually arrived at Bangkok Hospital Phuket at 3 pm.

Mr Berbichevsky is recovering at Bangkok Phuket Hospital while the other tourists have returned to their hotels on Koh Phi Phi Don.

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