The search for scores of missing Chinese tourists whose boat capsized off Thailand’s Phuket island resumed early Friday, with helicopters despatched to the area and divers sent to scour the sunken boat, the local governor said.
"We will conduct air searches and send divers to check inside the sunken Phoenix boat," Noraphat Plothong, governor of Phuket, told Agence France-Presse. The vessel keeled over in rough waters on Thursday evening, leaving at least one person dead.
The Chinese Embassy in Thailand said on its website Friday morning that a team was arriving in the morning to start rescue work.
One Chinese is confirmed to have died and 53 people, including 50 Chinese, are still missing after two boats overturned off Phuket. The Chinese Consulate General in Songkhla said early this morning that 76 Chinese tourists have been rescued.
Five of the rescued tourists were in the hospital for treatment to injuries, and six people were hospitalized for observation, the Chinese Consulate General said. Others returned to their hotel.
A report by China Central Television said 37 employees from a furniture company in Haining, Zhejiang province, were involved in the accident, with 19 rescued by 9:30 am on Friday and 18 still missing.
Ni Minghao, 38, who run a travel agency in Phuket, said the weather was fine on Thursday morning, but a storm arrived suddenly in the afternoon, bringing strong winds and waves. Since it is summer vacation, there were many children on the boats.
Noraphat said on his Twitter social media account early Friday morning that 53 people were missing from the Phoenix dive boat, which was carrying 105 passengers and crew. The boat sank near Koh Heh and most of the missing passengers were Chinese tourists, he said.
All 41 passengers and crew on the yacht Sereniga, which went down between Koh Heh and Koh Mai Thon, have been rescued, Noraphat said.