PHUKET: Paramedics on Phuket were tonight patching and processing dozens of injured tourists, passengers on a speedboat that crashed into another boat this afternoon off the Thai holiday island.
Officials have confirmed that two Koreans, a man and a woman, are missing, presumed drowned. The speedboat has now sunk.
Phuket City police are holding the speedboat captain and will transfer him to police in the neighboring province of Krabi because the collision occurred in Krabi waters.
Searchers tonight were still looking for the two tourists, missing since the speedboat crashed into a smaller boat off Phuket as it returned from a day-trip to Phi Phi island about 5.30pm.
Some of the tourists arriving back on Phuket tonight appeared to be seriously injured, suffering head trauma.
Just how the crash took place remains a mystery. Strict rules govern who gives way to whom at sea.
Chinese consulate officials were notified of the crash by Phuketwan but said one of the tourists had already contacted Chinese government officials.
Four Koreans and two British tourists were also passengers on the speedboat.
It's not known at this stage precisely what happened and how the two Koreans tourists came to be missing.
Marine authorities were placing a buoy over the spot where the speedboat sank.
The Royal Thai Navy has joined Marine Police and Krabi Rescue Centre vessels in the search for the missing tourists.
The weather was fine today between Phuket and Phi Phi and there were no problems with obscured vision.
Speedboat captains and crew on Phuket have often been criticised as ''cowboys.'' In the past, carelessness has led to the needless deaths of several tourists.
Earlier this month in Krabi, Indian tourists Yash Agarwal, 26, and Pankhuri Mittal, 25, drowned when a longtail boat overturned on the short trip between Railey and Ao Nang.
They were not wearing life vests. A boatman who survived and swam to shore faces 10 years in jail.
Tourists being treated tonight at Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket City have been named as:
Mr Liu Li Chang
Miss Yong Wen Lin
Mr Pei Ing, 45
Ms Yong Wen Liu
Miss Wei Ya Hui
Mr Liu Chuan Yin, 25
Mr Hmang Xuan
Miss Lin Li Chang
Three Thais are also being treated. They are:
Surat Mat O -Sot