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Injured tourists being treated on Phuket tonight: the captain is under arrest

Two Koreans Confirmed Missing: Phuket Tourist Speedboat Sinks, Captain Held

Sunday, October 19, 2014
UPDATING REPORT: Photo Album Above

PHUKET: Paramedics on Phuket were tonight patching and processing dozens of injured tourists, passengers on a speedboat that crashed into another boat this afternoon off the Thai holiday island.

Officials have confirmed that two Koreans, a man and a woman, are missing, presumed drowned. The speedboat has now sunk.

Phuket City police are holding the speedboat captain and will transfer him to police in the neighboring province of Krabi because the collision occurred in Krabi waters.

Searchers tonight were still looking for the two tourists, missing since the speedboat crashed into a smaller boat off Phuket as it returned from a day-trip to Phi Phi island about 5.30pm.

Some of the tourists arriving back on Phuket tonight appeared to be seriously injured, suffering head trauma.

Just how the crash took place remains a mystery. Strict rules govern who gives way to whom at sea.

Chinese consulate officials were notified of the crash by Phuketwan but said one of the tourists had already contacted Chinese government officials.

Four Koreans and two British tourists were also passengers on the speedboat.

It's not known at this stage precisely what happened and how the two Koreans tourists came to be missing.

Marine authorities were placing a buoy over the spot where the speedboat sank.

The Royal Thai Navy has joined Marine Police and Krabi Rescue Centre vessels in the search for the missing tourists.

The weather was fine today between Phuket and Phi Phi and there were no problems with obscured vision.

Speedboat captains and crew on Phuket have often been criticised as ''cowboys.'' In the past, carelessness has led to the needless deaths of several tourists.

Earlier this month in Krabi, Indian tourists Yash Agarwal, 26, and Pankhuri Mittal, 25, drowned when a longtail boat overturned on the short trip between Railey and Ao Nang.

They were not wearing life vests. A boatman who survived and swam to shore faces 10 years in jail.

Tourists being treated tonight at Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket City have been named as:

Mr Liu Li Chang
Miss Yong Wen Lin
Mr Sibo
Mr Pei Ing, 45
Ms Yong Wen Liu
Miss Wei Ya Hui
Mr Liu Chuan Yin, 25
Mr Hmang Xuan
Miss Lin Li Chang

Three Thais are also being treated. They are:

Penpimon Jirisitthikawin
Rungthiwa Kalakul
Surat Mat O -Sot

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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I stick to the slower, large vessels when I can.. to places like Koh Surin.

Unfortunately, to the Similans, we couldn't get one, and had to endure the speed boat. I should have listened to my expat friend, with 21 years experience living in Phuket.

Awful. It's a matter of enduring the speed boat ride, and that's without accident or catastrophe.

Posted by farang888 on October 20, 2014 00:35

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"Just how the crash took place remains a mystery. Strict rules govern who gives way to whom at sea."

I take a boat nearly everyday from Phuket to other islands and I can tell you, the people who are driving the boats drive like they drive on the road.

No one obeys the rules, people pass on the left and right, people don't slow down for the long tails and it literally is a copy of how driving in Phuket roads has been adapted to the sea.

Posted by Tbs on October 20, 2014 08:16

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According to the rules of the road you may overtake either side of a boat. However it is the responsibility of the overtaking boat to do this in a safe manner.
Generally though Tbs is absolutely correct. Fishing boats and speedboats here obey no rules at all. This makes it difficult even for those who obey the rules as your correct response to a potential collision can lead to the one thing you are trying to avoid !
Absolute cowboys.

Posted by Anonymous on October 20, 2014 10:41

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Don't be too fast judgemental and blame the boat captain. He might have been wrong but no one knows it yet. Perhaps one of the Chinese did something unpredictable, that is another scenario we don't know yet.

Chinese are very different and the behave differently from other nations. Even back i China they are not following their own country rules.

On each corner of a trafic light in China, there are uniformed personnel with a whistle in mouth and red flag in their hands, guiding and leading the mass from one side of road to the other side. Each time these guides are on break, it directly occurs accidents and chaos on the road.

Better to wait and find out what caused this tragic incident.

Posted by Sam on October 20, 2014 11:19

Editor Comment:

Slowing down a speedboat is pretty simple, Sam. If there's a plastic bag diverting your attention on the floor, that's what any sensible person would do before bending down to pick it up.
No point in blaming the victims.

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"Strict rules govern who gives way to whom at sea."

Yes there are maritime rules that apply to every nation. The differences here is that the Thailand does not enforce them.

Six knots when passing close to a moored vessel or in a restricted waterway? No way as unlicensed skippers do not know the rules!

All vessel used for charter or hire must have a survey certificate? No way too expensive to build or maintain vessels to the standard required for a survey certificate!

Regrettably tragedies like this will continue to occur until the Thai authorities starts enforcing their own laws

Posted by Ben K on October 20, 2014 11:32

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Ed:

What plastic bag? Cannot find anything related on this article!

As i mentioned this is a tragic incident and should have not occurred. Sad news indeed for the victims, their family and friend and for all of us reading.

Posted by Sam on October 20, 2014 11:53

Editor Comment:

Read the next couple of articles on the topic, Sam.


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