PHUKET: One of the first tourists from yesterday's speedboat crash off Phuket to be interviewed told Phuketwan last night that none of the passengers were wearing life vests when the holiday trip ended with a shattering collision.
The captain, who is being held by police as rescuers search for two missing Koreans and survivors from seven countries are being treated for injuries, said: ''I looked down to pick up a plastic bag from the floor and the next thing, we had collided with the other boat.''
Surat Marot O-sot is likely to face a severe penalty if it is established that his dereliction of duty led to the crash. Life vests are compulsory on tourist speedboats.
Thai tourist Nittaya Pimpa, 30, was among the passengers on the day-trip to Phi Phi from Phuket.
A staffer at Patong's Hollywood nightclub, she hopped on the boat for a day's outing with two other Thai friends and a British mate.
''We were at the end of the boat,'' she said.
''The crash came with a huge shock. Everybody was crying out in the water. Nobody had a life vest.''
She said the crew of the fishing boat that the speedboat hit - a larger vessel - helped those in the water, first lifting out the people who appeared to be in most trouble.
The injured Australians have been named as Daniel Cahill and Lauren Upton.
Royal Thai Navy vessels and Marine Police resumed a search for the missing Koreans at 8am.