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Tourists safe after longtail boat swamped, left stranded in Phang Nga Bay

Tourists safe after longtail boat swamped, left stranded in Phang Nga Bay

PHUKET: Two Romanian tourists on holiday in Phuket are safe after the longtail boat they had hired for a sightseeing tour was swamped by a large wave the upper reaches of Phang Nga Bay late yesterday afternoon (Dec 6).

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Saturday 7 December 2019, 03:29PM

Luca Mihai Saceanu, 29, and Alina-Nicoleta Trana, 33, had hired a longtail boat to enjoy a tour of Ao Phang Nga National Park, reported Maj Ekkachai Siri of the Phuket Tourist Police.

The couple had driven from their hotel in Patong to Koh Klang Pier in Takua Thung, Phang Nga, for the tour, he added.

Miss Trana was celebrating her 33rd birthday yesterday.

At about 5pm, the longtail boat, operated by local boatman Suksan Waharak was swamped by a large wave off Koh Raya Ring island. (See map below.)

Mr Suksan fell into the water, the boat engine failed and the boat had taken on a lot of water, Maj Ekkachai said.

Mr Saceanu and Miss Trana, along with another friend who joined them on the tour, paddled the boat the best they could to reach a beach some 200 metres away, while Mr Suksan made it to some rocks nearby, he explained.

The tourists reported the incident to the Tourist Police by calling the Tourist Police hotline 1155, Maj Ekkachai explained.

The distress call was relayed to Ao Phang Nga National Park Chief Sarayuth Tanthanian, who dispatched officers to safely recover the four stranded on the island.

While waiting the four started a fire to keep warm.

Park officers managed to pick up the stranded tourists and Mr Suksan at about 6:20pm, and take them to the jetty in front of the Ao Phang Nga National Park headquarters.

From there they were returned to the Koh Klang Pier in Takua Thung, where they arrived at about 7:30pm, so they could drive back to their hotel in Patong, Maj Ekkachai said.

“The tourists, and Mr Suksan, were very grateful for the assistance,” Maj Ekkachai said.

“They are now back at their hotel,” he said.

“We will investigate further about the boat being out on the bay in such weather,” he said.

Strong blustery winds and large waves have prevailed along the Andaman coast this week.

Winds gusting up 30-35 knots off Phuket forced organisers of the King’s Cup Regatta to call off some races yesterday due for safety reasons.

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Kurt | 07 December 2019 - 15:48:04

Is the Longtail boatman having a license to sail tourists? If not, why not?
Is he having the safety requirement qualifications tourists think this boat people do have? If not, why not, Thai Government?  Hello, thai safety image, yes? This trip could have worked out more dramatic, with lost of lives.

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