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Thailand tourist boat sinking: At least 33 confirmed dead
10 July 2018, 04:16 | Devin Moran
Tourists on the Phoenix PD diving boat are rescued by a trawler after their vessel sank in Phuket on Thursday
At least 37 people have been found dead and dozens are still missing after a boat carrying mostly Chinese tourists capsized in rough waters off the Thai resort island of Phuket, Thai officials said.
Numerous survivors from the boat were rescued by nearby fishermen and transferred to the main island. In announcing a previous death toll of 33, authorities said all of those victims were Chinese. Authorities had already confirmed the death of another Chinese man.
The Phoenix was carrying 105 passengers, the majority Chinese tourists, when it hit trouble, sparking a rescue attempt that took place in the dark.
"I'm not really sure how many will survive", a grim-faced Noraphat Plodthong, the governor of Phuket, told reporters. The reason for the discrepancies was not clear.
Two boats with tourists on board capsized in waters near Phuket during rainstorms on Thursday evening.
He said department officials have been instructed to provide full cooperation for the search and rescue operation.
Some 48 people - passengers and crew - were rescued last Thursday, while a Chinese woman was plucked from the churning waters last Friday and rushed to hospital in Phuket after spending the night in the water. The survivors were shown being lifted from the rafts and sitting in life jackets amid ropes on the deck of what appears to be a fishing trawler.
Severe weather including heavy rain and winds were forecast until Tuesday.
"We have given warnings ... but the winds are strong."
Voralak Rerkchaikal, the owner of the dive boat Phoenix, said her company would cooperate with the ongoing efforts to look for the tourist.
Thai PBS television reported late on Thursday that weather had forced 12 boats with 263 passengers in all to stay docked at Racha island, a popular diving spot about an hour's boat ride from Phuket.
In an urgent circular on Saturday, China's Ministry of Culture and Tourism said tourism departments across China should carry out security checks against hidden risks to ensure travel safety during the summer period.
The Thai incidents came after an overloaded boat carrying illegal Indonesian immigrants capsized in bad weather off Malaysia's southern Johor state late Sunday.
South African Dominic Robnik, who has been involved in the search on both days, called the scenes "very, very sad". A huge rescue operation is underway at the Tham Luang Nang Non cave complex, where dozens of Thai Navy SEALs and worldwide experts are attempting to find a way to get the boys out.
Such tragedies are not uncommon in Malaysia. Han Yi and Chi Lin and few others friends was on holiday in Bangkok and they rush to Phuket to help after the heard the boat accidents happens.
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