rss icon Subscribe
desktop mobile auto

Thailand Suspends Salvage Effort in Tourist Boat Disaster that Killed 46

Thailand suspended efforts on Thursday to salvage a boat that capsized and sank off its resort island of Phuket, officials said, putting the death toll in its worst tourist-related disaster in years at 46.

The Phoenix had 101 on board, including 89 tourists, all but two of them from China, when it went down in rough seas last Thursday during an outing to a small island. Forty-two passengers and the crew of a dozen Thais were rescued.

The salvage operation was suspended because the boat lay deep and currents were rough, Phuket police commander Teerapol Tipcharoen told reporters.

Divers would retrieve a final body from the shipwreck when weather conditions permit, said Rear Admiral Chareonpol Kumrasee, who helped lead the effort.

The monsoon season now under way can bring fierce squalls and high seas in southern Thailand, especially off its west coast, and questions have been raised about why the boat had set out to sea despite warnings of bad weather.

The captain of the Phoenix has been charged with negligence causing death, police said. He has denied the charges.

Religious rites for the dead were held throughout the week after families arrived in Phuket from China to identify relatives and take charge of survivors.

The accident has led to a drop off in hotel bookings.

"We found that 10 to 15 percent of advance hotel bookings in Phuket were canceled," said Thai tourism official Pongpanu Svetarundra.

Thailand's tourism sector, which accounts for 12 percent of southeast Asia's second largest economy, has proved resilient to accidents, political turmoil and even bomb attacks over the past decade.

Chinese tourists made up nearly a third of last year's record arrivals of 35 million and more are expected this year, the tourism ministry says.

Two other boats capsized in the same vicinity as the Phoenix last week but their passengers were brought safely to shore.


(Reporting by Aukkarapon Niyomyat and Chayut Setboonsarng Editing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre and Clarence Fernandez)

Jul 12, 2018

 

Casualties

Update: 17 Dead after Missouri Tourist Boat Sinks in Storm

Divers on Friday pulled the last four bodies from the wreckage of a "duck boat" that sank in a storm in a Missouri lake, killing 17 people in one of the deadliest U.S.

MV SSL Kolkata: Salvage Operations Continue

Indian flagged containership SSL Kolkata caught fire and went adrift in the Bay of Bengal on June 13 (Photo courtesy of the Indian Coast Guard)

The salvage operations of the container vessel MV SSL Kolkata that had caught fire last month

Eight Migrants Found Dead in a Shipping Container

Eight migrants including six children were found dead on Monday after suffocating from petrol fumes while packed into a lorry container on the west Libyan coast, authorities said.

Casualties

Update: 17 Dead after Missouri Tourist Boat Sinks in Storm

Divers on Friday pulled the last four bodies from the wreckage of a "duck boat" that sank in a storm in a Missouri lake, killing 17 people in one of the deadliest U.S.

Eight Migrants Found Dead in a Shipping Container

Eight migrants including six children were found dead on Monday after suffocating from petrol fumes while packed into a lorry container on the west Libyan coast, authorities said.

Fire Stricken Box Ship SSL Kolkata Sits Aground

Indian flagged containership SSL Kolkata caught fire and went adrift in the Bay of Bengal on June 13 (Photo courtesy of the Indian Coast Guard)

Responders are facing challenging monsoon season conditions as they work to salvage a

Maritime Apps