Room has been found on Phi Phi to Phuket ferries today for four passengers - two Koreans and two New Zealanders - who have flights off Phuket this afternoon and early tomorrow. The other speedboat sinking survivors remain stranded.
PHUKET: Traumatised victims of a speedboat sinking were turned away when they tried to board a ferry on Phi Phi this morning to return to Phuket, a distressed Australian tourist said by phone to Phuket today.
Now at least one envoy, Australian honorary consul Larry Cunningham, is calling on authorities to send a Royal Thai Navy ship to rescue the stranded speedboat sinking victims.
The suggestion came from a spokesperson for the Chao Fa Krabi Rescue Centre, which yesterday played a major role in coordinating the rescue of the 41 people left in the sea when the speedboat slipped beneath the waves.
The 13 day-trippers now stranded on Phi Phi - including two-year-old Sena Ergun and her eight-year-old sister Beyza - were flung into the water yesterday when their holiday speedboat ignored weather warnings and sank in a storm.
''They turned us back,'' the girls' father, Hakan Ergun, from Sydney, said today. Rain was pounding Phi Phi and Phuket today, making conditions unsafe on the water again.
Two large ferries at Phi Phi pier were crowded with holidaymakers desperate to leave the bad weather behind them. About 100 people were turned away.
There was no room on the ferries for Mr Ergun, his wife Zuhal and their children, or the other rescued tourists - two New Zealanders, two Turkish people, three Kuwaitis and two Koreans.
Twelve of the people rescued from the sea off Phi Phi yesterday were taken to the island where they spent the night, while the other 24 rescued passengers were brought directly back to Phuket yesterday.
Amid a second day of chaos piled on chaos, the New Zealanders - Elizabeth Hickey and William Ihaka - are certain to miss their flight home, due to take off at 3.15pm today.
While the rescue was carried out successfully, the marine authorities who are supposed to enforce safety regulations seldom are seen inspecting speedboats or preventing outings in dangerous weather.
Mr Cunningham said the issue of safety at sea for tourists was likely to be raised ''at the highest level'' by ambassadors in Bangkok with the Thai Government.
Australian families also narrowly escaped when a speedboat sank between Phi Phi and Phuket in January.
Today's debacle follows an after-hours fire on Phuket 10 days ago at the Tiger Disco in which four people - two of them tourists - were asphyxiated.
As the cause of the blaze is investigated, questions have been raised about the capacity of Phuket police and officials to ensure tourists' safety meets international standards.
When a dive boat capsized and sank off Phuket in 2009, killing seven people, no aerial search was made for the 23 survivors, adrift in two liferafts.
Eventually the survivors borrowed a mobile telephone from a passing fishing boat and organised their own rescue.