Not long after Thailand’s tourism minster urged caution over water-based activities, particularly in poor weather, a tourist boat has capsized in rough waters off Phuket.
One Chinese traveller was killed in the accident, while at least 53 people have been reported missing.
According to The Bangkok Post, the boat’s captain told television crew the accident had occurred during a storm in five-metre high waters as the boat was on its way back to Phuket from Koh Racha.
Identifying himself as Somjing Boontham, he said he triggered inflatable life rafts and told passengers, most of whom were Chinese, to secure their life jackets when the vessel started to keel over.
With 12 passengers hospitalized, the boat was carrying a total of 105 people, including 93 tourists, 11 crew and one tour guide, AAP reported.
Phuket Provincial Police commander Teerapol Tipcharoen said the search for those missing was ongoing.
According to Phuket Governor Noraphat Plodthong, the occurrence follows a similar incident in which a vessel carrying 39 people sank off Koh Maithon.
All passengers involved in that accident were accounted for, The Phuket News reported.
The Governor added that ten other pleasure boats were stranded at sea during the storm.
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