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Friday, July 6, 2018

Dozens of Chinese tourists missing after boat capsizes off Thai’s Phuket!

  • The boat was returning to Phuket from Koh Racha.
Dozens of mainly Chinese passengers are missing after a boat capsized as high winds whipped up rough seas off the Thai tourist island of Phuket, officials said late Thursday.The boat was carrying around 90 passengers when it keeled over after it was hit by massive waves, prompting a rescue operation that stretched into the night and left authorities scrambling to react.

The governor of southern Phuket, Noraphat Plodthong, said 49 people — over half of the passengers — were still “being helped” as rescue boats rushed to the scene.

A provincial official, requesting anonymity, said rescuers “are working to find” the 49 missing. Television footage showed stunned tourists huddling in blankets, while several women cried as medics tended to the injured.

The boat was returning to Phuket from Koh Racha at around 4:00 pm (0900 GMT) when a storm hit, according to the captain, who identified himself as Somjing Boontham in a televised interview.

He said the boat was hit by five metre-high waves, which flooded the boat and started to slowly keel over, prompting him to warn passengers to put on life jackets and trigger inflatable life rafts.

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