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Missing women may be trapped inside sunken dive boat

PHOTO: Asia Pacific Press

Rescuers searching for two women, missing after a dive boat sank near the Surin Islands in off the Phang Nga coast, believe they may be trapped in the sunken vessel.

According to a report by the UK’s Daily Mail, dozens of ships and a military helicopter are involved in the search for Millie Young, originally from Brighton, in England, and the ship’s cook, Samniang Thaichana.

Samniang’s daughter, Sunee Panpeng, says her mother has been working on dive boats for 4 years, usually having 3 days at sea before returning to shore.

“When I was told that the ship had sunk, I was immediately worried about my mother because she cannot swim. We can only pray that she will be found. Now I am waiting for a miracle.”

The Sawan Tour Reggae Queen left Thap Lamu Pier on December 22 with 13 tourists and 5 crew members on board. It was en route to the Surin Islands, a popular diving and snorkelling spot, when it was forced to stop due to the strength of the waves, which were over 3 metres in height.

With the waste water pump unable to cope with the volume, the crew began the process of evacuating passengers into life rafts. Sixteen people were rescued, but Ms Young and Ms Samniang are still missing.

Pichet Songtan, spokesman for Thai Maritime Enforcement Command Centre, says the Royal Thai Navy is using sonar equipment to determine the coordinates of the sunken vessel.

“The missing persons are likely to be stuck inside the ship. We believe that they were unable to escape and were pushed down by the water. We are still waiting for the correct latitude and longitude to be determined. When it is, deep sea scuba divers are ready to search further.”

The Daily Mail reports that Ms Young has been living in Thailand since 2007 and had embarked on the trip with family members believed to be visiting from the UK.

Information on another 6 people, reported missing in the Gulf of Thailand, following other boat sinking last weekend, has been scant.

SOURCE: Daily Mail

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