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Injured speedboat tourists being helped at Phuket's Rassada pier tonight

UPDATE Phuket Tourists Missing in Sea as Speedboat, Trawler Collide: 40 Rescued, Many Injured

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

PHUKET: A desperate search is continuing in darkness tonight for two Korean tourists, missing after a collision off Phuket between a speedboat and a fishing boat.

Many people sustained injuries, some serious, when the boats smashed together.

A total of 37 tourists were on the speedboat, 31 Chinese, four Koreans and two Britons, officials said just before 8pm.

Also on board were the captain, two crew members and two guides - one Chinese and one Thai - making a total of 42.

The speedboat - named as the Sea Star - was returning to the pier at Boat Lagoon, a popular departure spot, after a day-trip to Phi Phi island when the collision with the larger vessel took place about 5.30pm.

Two people are missing. Those with serious injuries include one person with a serious smashed knee. Others suffered head injuries.

Those injured were listed as 27 tourists, two guides and three crew. Eight people escaped injury.

Phuket Marine Police and Phang Nga Rescue were scouring the waters, about four miles off Phuket, for the two missing Koreans tonight.

Kusoldharm Phuket Foundation paramedics were also called in.

A Chinese consular official told Phuketwan that tourists had notified the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the incident and that they were aware that at least two Chinese tourists had been admitted to hospital on Phuket.

There were no details as yet about precisely what had happened, the official said.

A large crowd gathered at the Rassada pier in Phuket City, with paramedics and ambulances treating and transferring injured speedboat passengers to hospitals.

As soon as injured began arriving, they were treated at the dock then taken swiftly to Phuket City facilities.

It's not known as yet whether the tourists were wearing flotation vests, which are compulsory.

Officials in Thailand's tourism industry have been anxious since the September 15 murders of British tourists Hannah Witheridge and David Miller on Koh Tao to project Thailand's islands as safe places.

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

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

Phuket's high season begins on November 1 and the Asian Beach Games are due to be held on the holiday island from November 14-23.

Comments

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There are many boats from Lagoon Tours, that serves Lagoon resorts, departs from Boat Lagoon every day for group and private tours to PhiPhi , James Bond etc.
I went few times with them, everything was quite good, but at no point passengers were asking to wears lifejackets of got any safety briefing.

Quen Star probably is not of Lagoon Tours.

In open sea 4 mi off the shore there should be no such accident , and weather was +/- OK, so only blame captain(s), and at least one of them is an a***ole.

As of course they drive boats as they drive cars, then of course such accidents will happen regularly.

When on public ferry I always wear life jacket ,as this gives 50% chance - a chance if after an accident you become unconscious, then if you float face up and in life jacket that makes your chance. Strange looks of other passengers etc.,I don't care, but all f my friends who travel together usually follow a suit, and then we are in better position to joke about floating after an accident.
Should then west lifejacket on speedboats and lngtail boats too..

Wave were not very high today, so hope everyone will be counted in the end.

Posted by Sue on October 19, 2014 18:42

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And what is a condition of the arriving passengers? There are so many ambulances were driving off Ratsada.

5:30pm surely is not a time when regular tours make their return way, it is probably a kind of time of notification or time of arrival of rescue forces. Normally boats come back at 15:30-16:00.
So they obviously didn't call immediately for the rescue, then a question is why - didn't have equipment or tried to save a face by hiding an accident?

Posted by Sue on October 19, 2014 20:36

Editor Comment:

Always the chance of an unplanned delay, Sue, or mechanical problems. Please stop making assumptions with important cases. You could win an Olympic gold for jumping to conclusions.

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(moderated)

Posted by Whistle-Blower on October 19, 2014 20:41

Editor Comment:

Time and a place for everything, WB.

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The editor sure said it
Although Thailand's government is anxious to convey the message to the world that Thailand is a safe place for tourists to visit, far more visitors die needlessly from crashes on roads - especially involving motorcycles - and drownings on beaches than from crimes.

Posted by slickmelb on October 19, 2014 21:00

Editor Comment:

Wearing ID wristbands is not nearly as essential as wearing safety helmets on motorcycles and life vests on speedboats. Let's hope the new Minister realises that and says so quickly.

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I just hope that this incident will be investigated in the right way and not again wiped under the carpet. Some really harsh punishments for Captain and operator MAYBE give a chance to change the situation, to save lives and to reinstall trust. I feel sorry for the holiday makers, who obviously trusted in the wrong people.

Posted by Resident on October 20, 2014 06:21

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How about a Police re-enactment using the Thai driver and his crew, and all the staff (including managers/ owners) of the speedboat company. Invite all the relevant Phuket officials to view the re-enactment. Maybe loosing face will improve the overall situation as I'm not sure what else realistically will.

Posted by Duncan on October 20, 2014 09:07

Editor Comment:

Great idea. But as you know, these things are ''natural.''

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Just arrived on Phuket the tuk tuks line the whole beach lane and the lane over in front of Jocelyn department store. Only good thing is that the beach is cleared. WHY are the tuk tuks still hogging the two main roads?

Posted by FRED NATT on October 20, 2014 11:07

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Yeah, Hi Fred Natt, sorry to report that other than the beaches being cleared of deck chairs, much to the delight of the jet ski and para sailing touts, nothing has changed....Except for taxi fares. They have gone up...

Posted by Tim on October 20, 2014 12:26


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