A search operation is underway for a missing tourist after a freak waterspout capsized a tour boat in the province of Phetchaburi. Another tourist died in the incident as the waterspout directly impacted the long-tail boat.
According to a Thai PBS World report, the incident happened in Bang Tabun Bay on Saturday evening, August 12. The boat was taking 7 Thai tourists, 3 men and 4 women, on a sightseeing trip when it was struck by the waterspout at around 5.30pm and capsized. There is little the captain could have done as the waterspout appeared out of nowhere and, seconds later, had flipped over the vessel.
In the immediate aftermath, two male tourists, named as Chanin Chompinthong and Kritsanut Khampanya, were reported missing.
Yesterday, rescuers found Mr Chanin’s body but Mr Kritsanut remains missing. The search for the missing tourist continued until around 8.00pm yesterday, supervised by provincial governor, Natthachai Nampoonsuksant. The operation resumed this morning.
According to the testimony of the boat driver, named as “Samphan”, he was making his way back to shore when about 200 metres offshore, the waterspout suddenly struck. It’s understood none of the tourists were wearing lifejackets.
Meanwhile, Charnchai Thongklam, who was dining at a nearby restaurant managed to record the waterspout strike.
Officials plan to meet with all tour boat operators in the area, to remind them that all passengers must wear lifejackets.