Ferry capsizes in rough seas off Samui Island, seven people still missing

Marine police and rescue workers have been searching the seas around Thailand’s Samui Island for people missing after a ferry capsized as it left the island for the mainland on Saturday.

Pol Col Krisana Pattanacharoen, Deputy Spokesman of the Royal Thai Police, told the media on Sunday morning that the ferry, Racha 4, left the pier on Samui Island with 12 crew and 6 passengers, who are the drivers of three trailer trucks and one pickup.

About 30 minutes after departure, as the ferry was passing See and Ha islands, about five nautical miles from Samui Island, the ferry’s skipper radioed the pier’s control station to report that the vessel was listing heavily.  About 10 minutes later, all contact was lost and pier officials immediately alerted the marine police and the navy.

Rescue boats were immediately sent to the location of the ferry’s last contact and they found nine people floating in the sea, while the remainder were missing.

Pol Col Krisana said that rough seas might have been the cause of the vessel’s foundering adding, however, that an investigation will be launched immediately.

Pol Sub-Lt Sirawit Nakhomsik, Deputy Inspector of Koh Samui marine police, said that the search team scoured the sea around Samui Island on Saturday night and could not locate the sunken vessel or the missing people.

 

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)