''We had a window of 10 minutes,'' said Philip Barnes, whose daughters Alyssa, 9, and Megan, 7, were crying, but not panicking like the children who could not swim.
''If the diving vessel that rescued us hadn't been close and big enough to take us all, who knows what might have happened?
''The speedboat went down very quickly. It was ill-equipped and ill-prepared. There was no radio and no flares. Fortunately, there were enough lifejackets to go around.''
The rescue boat from Prestige Divers was carrying about 20 people but managing director Micha Hildner sacrificed their trip to rescue the 25 people on the speedboat, including seven children.
''They did the right thing and we appreciate it,'' said Mr Barnes, a risk executive at a Melbourne bank, safely on Phuket today.
The sinking took place about 10am yesterday. Within a few minutes, the speedboat went under as its passengers watched from the safety of the dive boat.
Craig Hummiford, also from Melbourne, said the speedboat was 45 minutes into the trip from Phuket's Boat Lagoon to Phi Phi when one engine and the bilge pump failed.
''From the time the last person jumped off until the speedboat went down was about three minutes,'' Mr Hummiford said.
The people on the speedboat were members of the Banyule Cricket Club who had come to Thailand for the wedding of a friend on December 30 before heading on to Phuket for a tropical island holiday.
''We are very relieved,'' said Mr Hummiford, whose dramatic series of photographs showed the speedboat slipping under within seconds.
It is believed the tour company, with its three regular speedboats already committed, subcontracted a fourth boat. Passengers could not recollect details of the speedboat today and Phuketwan's efforts to find an owner failed.
Phuripat Theerakulpisut, Chief of Phuket's Marine Office 5, said today that he was aware of the sinking but that it occurred in the waters of Phang Nga province, not Phuket waters. ''Not my area,'' he said.
Prestige Divers managed to transfer some of their passengers to another dive trip today but had to refund passengers who couldn't adjust their schedules, a spokesperson said today.
MD Micha Hildner was at sea again today.