PHANG NGA BAY: Twenty-two passengers and crew are safely back on dry land after the Armitis, a tour boat, sprung a leak and sank in heavy seas yesterday in Phang Nga Bay.
Pol Lt Col Prasert Srikunnarat, Inspector of Phuket Marine Police Region 5 told the Gazette that he received a distress call saying that the boat, captained by Chamrus Tohmok, was taking on water off Laem Tong, Koh Dokmai, and that passengers and crew were about to abandon ship about 30 kilometers from Phuket.
“The captain told me that, on the way back to Phuket from Laem Tong, waves of up to four meters high were slamming into the vessel, causing it to spring a leak and founder.” He said that the crew and the passengers donned life jackets and were in the water for about an hour before being picked up.
“They were lucky that they had an immediate response. Six speedboats were dispatched from Boat Lagoon and four more were sent from the Marine Office,” Pol Col Prasert added.
Meanwhile, the weather does not look set to improve.
The Southern Meteorological Center (West Coast) has announced that a low-pressure front currently blankets lower southern Thailand. There will be heavy rain, most likely causing floods in Krabi, Trang and Satun provinces.
Strong winds and high waves are likely in the Andaman Sea and small boats should not put out to sea.
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