PHANG-NGA BAY: An 83-year-old was among seven men rescued today after their fishing boat sank early Monday morning off Koh Taloo in Phang Nga Bay and they spent as much as 30 hours clinging to debris. Commodore Preecharn Jamjaroen of the Royal Thai Navy’s Third Fleet said that the seven took the boat out on Monday morning to go fishing around Koh Taloo. One of the crew, Yuttapong Sricha’aim, explained, “About 1 am yesterday a big wave hit the boat while we were sleeping. The boat took on too much water, so we decided to jump into the sea, but we were separated by the rough waves. “I was floating in the sea for about 18 hours, until I heard shouting from a fishing boat. They picked me up and we radioed the police to tell them what had happened so that they would come look for my friends.” At 6:30 this morning, another fishing boat found two more crew members floating in the water not far from where the boat had sunk. Somjak Thongyuan, 32, and Soonthon Geuagim, 46, were reported in good condition, but were sent to Takuapa Hospital for medical checks. This morning, the Royal Thai Navy’s Third Fleet sent an aircraft and two boats to search for the remaining four crew members, but the search had to be called off after three hours when the weather turned bad, leaving little hope of the four being found. However, this afternoon police received a call from Takuapa Hospital reporting that all four had been taken there after being rescued by squid fishermen at about 2:30 this afternoon. None of the four was seriously injured, though all were very tired and were being treated for skin problems resulting from prolonged exposure to water. The four lucky men, including 83-year-old Saweng Preechachio, survived more than 30 hours in the sea by holding onto debris from the boat.
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