A five-year-old Russian girl has lost her life, and a boat captain injured, after a speedboat crashed near Koh Maiton off the south east coast of Phuket. The collision, involving the speedboat ‘Apirak 89,’ also left six foreign tourists and a crew member injured and rushed to hospital.
The speedboat had crashed into the rocks as it was heading back to Phuket after a day trip to Koh Phi Phi.
The Phuket Marine Office reported that emergency responders received notification of the accident at 3:20 pm on Sunday, December 31. When they arrived, rescue workers found the damaged speedboat, which had departed from Koh Phi Phi with seven Russian nationals on board.
The incident occurred as the boat, captained by Natthaphong Kongwilai, was returning to Chalong Pier after a day visit to Phi Phi. After stopping at Koh Maiton, the speedboat collided with rocks on the east side of the island around 3:30 pm. Koh Maiton, a popular small island, is situated around eight kilometres to the south was of Chang Pier.
The ‘Apirak 89,’ a three metre wide, 11 metre long dual-engined, fiberglass speedboat. Two additional speedboats were dispatched to assist after the incident was reported, bringing all nine individuals back to Chalong Pier for medical attention.
Tragically, the five year old Russian girl, identified as Liza Pak, remained unconscious and was later pronounced dead on arrival at Chalong Hospital. Her grandmother, referred to as ‘Mrs. Emma,’ experienced injuries in her right arm but was treated and discharged. Captain Natthapong Kongwilai suffered a significant laceration on the left side of his face.
The six other foreign tourists and crew member Preecha Soison sustained various injuries and were taken to hospitals in Phuket after being brought back to the pier.
Officials believe the speedboat was leaving Koh Maiton, heading south as it was making its way back to Phuket, when it collided with the rocks. Despite evident damage to the hull, the boat had no oil leaks, and its licensing was in order, according to officials.
Phuket officials, Tourist Police and officers from the Tourist Assistance Centre promptly arrived at Vachira Phuket Hospital to provide support and assistance to the injured and their families.