Tourism News

Tourism News Phuketwan Tourism News
facebook recommendations


Sign up now for our News Alert emails and the latest breaking news plus new features.

Click to subscribe

Existing subscribers can unsubscribe here


A speedboat drops rescued passengers ashore on Phuket late today

Phuket Speedboat in Distress: Mayday Call Brings Rescue for 41 On Water

Monday, August 27, 2012

Forty-one people have been rescued and are on their way back to land, Police Lieutenant Kunakorn Pingsakul from Phi Phi island said at 5.20pm. Most of the 37 are Chinese tourists, say rescuers. Some are children. A spokesman for the Chao Fa Krabi Rescue Centre said: ''I am very surprised that any kind of small boat was on the water in this weather.'' The first 13, rescued by a Phi Phi boat, are remaining on the island overnight. The other 24 have returned to Phuket.

Original Report

PHUKET: A speedboat from Phuket is reportedly in distress and a rescue is underway off Phi Phi this afternoon, Phuketwan has learned.

It is believed that 37 passengers were on board the Phuket vessel Lookpradu 21 when it got into trouble, according to initial reports.

Phuketwan has so far been unable to confirm reports that people were in the water.

Rescuers said the incident took place at 3pm. The speedboat was on a day trip from Phuket to Phi Phi island, a popular destination in good weather.

Marine Police on Phuket received a distress call from the speedboat saying it could not cope in high waves and driving rain.

Marine Police alerted rescue authorities on Phi Phi and on mainland Krabi. it is believed Krabi Marine Police responded by sending a vessel.

The speedboat got into trouble off Laem Lan, Phi Phi, but details have not yet become available.

The rescue was underway as the Phuket-based Southern Meteorological Centre (West Coast) repeated advice that small boats were not safe venturing out today.

Decisions on whether speedboats put to sea are in the hands of individual companies. Sinkings have occurred in bad weather in recent years.

A speedboat on a snorkelling trip from Phuket went down in January off Phi Phi soon after all on board had been rescued.

The incident came when other boats were in the water and able to come to the rescue.

In bad weather, when captains decide not to put to sea, those that do go to sea despite the warnings have fewer vessels nearby to come to their aid.

The vessel in distress was based at Rassada Pier on Phuket.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


They should never have been allow to leave in this weather. Once again money comes before safety.

Posted by Graham on August 27, 2012 16:24


Who are the idiots who sail out on a speedboat to Phi Phi in this weather!!!!

Posted by Staf on August 27, 2012 16:51


Since greed obviously supercedes common sense on a regular basis on Phuket, what we need is a Harbour Captain at every marina with proper authority and resources to prevent the irresponsible operators from putting passengers needlessly in harms way.

To put out to sea in today's weather in a plywood/gelcoat coffin is not only gross negligence but, if there are casualties, should be considered involuntary manslaughter.

Posted by Andrew on August 27, 2012 17:02


So they went out to sea today TO GO SNORKELLING, are you kidding, this tour company should be banned, going out in this weather, unbelievable.

Posted by coxo on August 27, 2012 17:30


I have not noticed VHF equipment on board these speed boats, so I assume they use their mobile phones for their distress calls. and I am also not so sure that they would know how to do a proper Mayday call on a marine radio.

Posted by Bjarne on August 27, 2012 17:41


Have any seen how these boads are build ?
Some thin plywood with a very thin layer of glasfiber on each side, made in a garage somewhere, no standards met, no insurance checkup !!
It is saling accidents waiting to happend, as we see it happend every year !

Posted by karsten on August 27, 2012 18:48


I am once again suprised that all these follower of Phuket wan are so quick in writing. These things happens sometimes without warning. I been working here for several years, highseason - low season and these things happens. Just because it have been raining in phuket all day does not mean it have been raining over Phi Phi. Just because windguru says it will be 2 m + waves, doesnt meant it will be. rain comes in and then all the sudden the wind pick up. This mean rough weather. Thankfully nobody got hurt.

Posted by Experinced on August 27, 2012 20:52


Phuket needs a new T-shirt "Same, Same but Same", or maybe "Same, Same but Shame!"

Posted by Logic on August 27, 2012 21:01


@Andrew: I believe that the jurisdiction for water craft in this area lies with Marine Office 5. I expect that they will respond to this situation in the same judicious and diligent fashion as they have given to recent sinkings, swampings, swimmers hit by boats, and jet ski scammers.

Posted by Treelover on August 27, 2012 21:41


Experinced, you are obviously not experienced when it comes to ocean going boating, the weather forecasts are issued for a reason, small craft do not take to sea when gale force wind warnings and big sea's are in play, gale force winds create large chop, waves from all directions and close together, an overloaded plywood boat with a prehistoric hull design is most certainly not suited to these conditions as was determined by the outcome.

Posted by coxo on August 28, 2012 07:02


Ed: Usually Whistle-Blower rushes in with the first comment when something like this happens. Have you edited it out or is it just a deafening silence?

Posted by Pete on August 28, 2012 07:34

Editor Comment:

Whistleblower's absence just goes to show how often assumptions are proved wrong, Pete. If you have nothing to add on the subject of the article, why waste my time?


I wish the boat operators were not refered to as "captains". They are typically not marine academy graduates, nor do they have professional maritime training. A vessel captain has to meet specific training requirements and log hours under supervision before earning captain's papers.. Motorboat operators are just that, operators. Calling them anything else but that encourages the assumption that these people are consistently competent and trained to understand marine weather, navigation and operation of a vessel in stormy seas.

Posted by Ryan on August 28, 2012 15:17

Editor Comment:

To say on the one hand that injustices in Thailand will never change then to ask for the international term ''captain'' to be redefined is a bit of a stretch.


Well despite the severe weather warnings today, people I know where told it is really safe to go to Phi Phi.
Short story, they had a terrifying time just getting out of Maya Bay, then turning back where put on the beach, where they had to pay for the beach chairs they never intended to use, then a horrific trip back. Well done you scared the sh-t out of eight people who will tell all their friends and facebook friends not to visit here, as the tour companies lie about going out on the sea.

Posted by Dun on September 6, 2012 20:11

Editor Comment:

Dun, you seem to be suggesting it's time for speedboats to be keep ashore when it's unsafe, and allowed to venture out when it's not. That depends on accurate forecasts and officials in charge whose only concern is the safety of tourists. The rest appears to be lost in translation.

Thursday April 18, 2024
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


Facebook Twitter