Six Still Critical After Phuket Boat Accident

phuket boat accident

Phuket, Thailand – Six people, including four Russians and two Thais, are in critical but stable condition after a speedboat accident in Chalong Bay, Phuket.

Accident Details

The incident occurred when the Thanathip Marine 555, carrying 37 passengers, crashed into a channel marker in Chalong Bay. The boat was returning from the Phi Phi Islands with foreign tourists on board, including 21 Russians, nine Kazakhs, and one tourist each from Hong Kong, China, and Ukraine. Alongside the tourists, the Thais onboard comprised the driver, two assistants, and a tour guide.

The collision resulted in heavy damage to the speedboat, with around 10 people, including the driver, sustaining broken limbs. The injured were quickly transported to seven different hospitals across the island.

Updates on Injured Passengers

As per Dr. Weerasak Lorthongkam, director of Vachira Phuket Hospital, the four Russians and two Thais are still in critical but stable condition. Among the four Russians, two have been transferred from Chalong Hospital to Vachira Phuket Hospital, while the other two are being treated at Bangkok Hospital Phuket.

Investigation and Safety Measures

Following the accident, authorities are considering implementing tighter screening protocols for drivers, including tests for illicit substances, to avert such incidents in the future. Dr. Weerasak mentioned that strict rules will be enforced, requiring lists of passengers and crew members, and mandating insurance for all boats and passengers.

“Life jackets are necessary to prevent loss of life,” Dr. Weerasak advised, acknowledging that the boat was insured and fortunately, no one drowned or fell off during the incident.

Ongoing Investigation and Boat Suspension

Nachapong Pranit, chief of the provincial marine department, stated that the damaged speedboat has been taken to the Koktanod area in Tambon Chalong for further examination by Chalong police and related agencies. The boat’s mechanic and other individuals involved will also be questioned. In addition, the captain will be summoned for questioning once his condition improves.

In the meantime, the provincial marine office has invoked Section 170 of the Navigation in Thai Waters Act 1913 to suspend the operation of the boat. The boat must undergo a complete safety check before it can resume operating again.