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Aftermath of the speedboat crash: Survivors are lucky to be alive

Phuket Speedboat Crash Captain Bent to Pick Up Plastic Bag: No Life Vests, Says Passenger

Monday, October 20, 2014
UPDATING REPORT

PHUKET: One of the first tourists from yesterday's speedboat crash off Phuket to be interviewed told Phuketwan last night that none of the passengers were wearing life vests when the holiday trip ended with a shattering collision.

The captain, who is being held by police as rescuers search for two missing Koreans and survivors from seven countries are being treated for injuries, said: ''I looked down to pick up a plastic bag from the floor and the next thing, we had collided with the other boat.''

Surat Marot O-sot is likely to face a severe penalty if it is established that his dereliction of duty led to the crash. Life vests are compulsory on tourist speedboats.

Thai tourist Nittaya Pimpa, 30, was among the passengers on the day-trip to Phi Phi from Phuket.

A staffer at Patong's Hollywood nightclub, she hopped on the boat for a day's outing with two other Thai friends and a British mate.

''We were at the end of the boat,'' she said.

''The crash came with a huge shock. Everybody was crying out in the water. Nobody had a life vest.''

She said the crew of the fishing boat that the speedboat hit - a larger vessel - helped those in the water, first lifting out the people who appeared to be in most trouble.

The injured Australians have been named as Daniel Cahill and Lauren Upton.

Royal Thai Navy vessels and Marine Police resumed a search for the missing Koreans at 8am.

Comments

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He took his eyes off the sea for a moment and crashed. Well I don't know how this can be true.
The sea, doesn't have corners, its flat and you can see quite far.

Posted by Tbs on October 20, 2014 08:26

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Disgusting. That is no accident, that is plain negligence. End of my comment.

Posted by Graham on October 20, 2014 08:34

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I remember a crash of two speedboats a while back. The "captain" whom was held responsible was facing suspension but that was all forgiven because the guy cried and they felt sorry for him. Hope something so ridiculous doesn't happen again.

Posted by tim on October 20, 2014 12:31

Editor Comment:

He was probably crying on his wallet.

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"I looked down to pick up a plastic bag ". Will this become the maritime equivalent of 'the brakes failed'?

Posted by Mister Ree on October 20, 2014 13:04

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Intriguing question: After the speedboat sank, where there floating life vests at the collision location?

Posted by Kurt on October 20, 2014 20:32

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As a master mariner & recreational SCUBA diver,I am quite perplexed on 2 counts:

1/. Accidents like this simply don't occur in a few seconds. As stated the sea is flat & with a good lookout & giving other vessels sufficient sea room, such a collision simply should not be possible. I believe there were 6 crew members on this boat, so what were they all doing if not keeping a lookout?

2/. Over several years of diving from Chalong pier in Phuket, I have observed rows of lifejackets laid out with speedboat tourists putting them on before going to board their boats. Why should no passenger be wearing a lifejacket on this occasion, especially in the low season when sea conditions are as an average rougher?

Posted by Logic on October 20, 2014 21:05

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Sorry, but this is always going to be a threat here in Phuket, as a boatie here in Phuket these guys are always just taking the direct route at maximum speed and never giving way or obeying basic Colregs, the visibility on that rainy day required extra vigilance and reduced speed but at 1730, they wanted return, refuel, clean up and home! Same every day. The speed limit in the channel to Boat lagoon, ( I know not near the accident ) is 5 knots but they do 30 every day. No difference to Thai driving standards some will say, "live with it", so I do.

Posted by Anonymous on October 20, 2014 23:24

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it seems Seastar profesionally discharged a team of trollers like friends etc of the staff who post that
1) they trust Seastar and will of course will travel again with them
2) of course not wearing lifejackets is always passengers faults, who's else?
3) nobody wanted that accident, and such accidents happens everywhere, so what'sis this all fuss about, just to damage the company?
Three points repeated tens uf not hundred times, and there are few opposite opinions.

Posted by Sue on October 20, 2014 23:43

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You take your life in your hands stepping aboard a fast boat in this country. You also take you life in your hands being in the water near one.

Posted by geoff on October 21, 2014 12:37

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When I am out on the bay, I noticed that many of those speedboat drivers have fun passing as close as possible to other boats. So far, nothing has happened to me or my little private boat, but I always wondered why there has never been an accident so far because of this behaviour. Now, it seems, a colission with a trawler that must have been very visible, could be the result of such "Cowboy" driving. Just my 5 cents...

Posted by Mig on October 21, 2014 16:40


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