Marine Police scrambled to help when the vessel 'Myferry,' making its way from Langkawi to Tammarang Pier in Satun province, stuck hard four miles offshore from its destination about 6.30pm.
With memories of the deadly burning and sinking of a Krabi to Phuket ferry two weeks ago still fresh, the agency began lifting off passengers in an emergency procedure that was to continue into the darkness.
Many foreigners were among the passengers. It had sailed from Langkawi, an island off the coast of Malaysia, about 4.55pm.
By 9.30pm, officials reported, all on board the Myferry had been safely removed from the stuck vessel.
The captain, Mat Saad Bin Ya, 45, is likely to face questions today about his skills and the course he aimed to take.
In Europe, a ferry carrying hundreds of migrants from Africa to Europe capsized when passengers saw shore lights and rushed to one side of the vessel.
As many as 950 men, women and children are feared dead, some locked below deck in the hold of the small vessel.