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Passengers in the water await rescue today after a ferry burned and sank

First Photos: Mass Rescue of Tourists As Ferry Blazes, Sinks Between Krabi and Phuket

Wednesday, April 8, 2015
PHUKET: The first photographs have emerged of the dramatic rescue of more than 100 tourists from a ferry that burned to the waterline and sank between Krabi and Phuket today.

The photographs show that it appears all passengers were wearing life vests or able to don them quickly when the alarm sounded this afternoon as the Ao Nang Princess 5 made its regular return trip to the popular Thai holiday island.

It's believed that many Europeans were on board when the blaze broke out but the manifest of names and nationalities has yet to be revealed.

One passenger, Israeli Shani Maril, 12, remains missing tonight. She boarded the ferry, returning from Krabi to Phuket, with her parents and two siblings.

She went to the toilet at the stern of the vessel. The fire broke out soon after in that part of the ferry. She did not return.

The fire quickly took hold and burned the vessel to the waterline before it sank. Fortunately it was 3.30pm and speedboats on daytrips and fishing trawlers responded quickly to the emergency.

It was a tranquil high season day with good weather, so the seas were calm and did not add to to rescuers' difficulties.

Most of the passengers had been bussed back to Phuket before 9pm, authorities said. A list of names and nationalities could be available tomorrow.

There's constant concern on Phuket, Krabi and other Andaman coast destinations about reports of tourist speedboats where passengers are not obliged to wear life vests.

Larger vessels operating along the coast appear to be safety-conscious.

Are You a Ferry Passenger?

WERE you on board the ferry that sank today? We'd like to report precisely what happened. Please telephone 089 6472731 to tell us your story.

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