Eight customers and four crew escaped from a Kamala Dive Centre boat when it sank near Ko Kiew on a trip back to Phuket from Phi Phi yesterday afternoon.
A spokesman for Kamala Dive Centre, which is based in Patong, said today the vessel sank after being hit by a big wave and strong winds.
''The boat had made it to Ko Kiew before it went under,'' he said. ''Everybody was picked up safely by another boat that was nearby at the time.
''The customers arrived back at the pier about 7.30pm and the crew stayed with the boat and returned about 10.30pm.
''We will let them rest and talk to them today in detail about what exactly happened.''
The 24-metre dive boat was still on a beach at Ko Kiew but holed, he said. It was on a normal day trip to Phi Phi when the wave struck, he said.
''I have heard there were at least two other boats with problems yesterday,'' he said. ''But I've heard nothing definite.''
The damaged boat was owned by Aloha at Chalong, about 10 years old, and well-maintained, he said. It was checked and repaired in dry dock once a year, he said.
More storms are being forecast for today and coming days.