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Six Russians, including 3 children, rescued in another boat sinking

PHOTOS: Facebook/ศูนย์ข้อมูลภูเก็ต Phuket Info Center

Six Russian tourists, including children, have been rescued from a Phuket tour boat that sank late on Tuesday, January 9. Yet another ‘near miss’ in the latest spotlight on the island’s marine safety.

The Martini was on a trip to Koh Hei (Coral Island) and had six tourists, including children aged 4, 9, and 14, on board. Also on board was the boat owner and operator, 31 year old Chakri Kaenkhong and his crew, 17 year old Amarin Danadee and 44 year old Phattharapon Kothalin.

The Phuket News reports that the boat left Chalong at 9.40am, with stops at Koh Maithon and Koh Racha. It sank near Nam Bo Bay while attempting to moor on the west side of Koh Hei. According to Chakri, water began to enter the engine room as a result of a leaking pipe and the crew were unable to pump it out in time, causing the boat to sink.

A nearby vessel, the Panwa Princess, managed to rescue all tourists and crew from the stricken Martini and deliver them to the pier at the Cape Panwa Hotel, from where the tourists were transported to their hotel in Karon.

Phuket Marine Chief Natchapong Pranit says both the Martini’s registration and operator’s certificate were valid. However, it didn’t have an engine operator or engine operator licence. Natchapong adds that the Martini was also not licenced to operate as a tour boat.

“We will take legal action to the fullest extent concerning these violations.”

According to Natchapong, no oil leak has been detected in the area where the vessel went down and lighted buoys are being placed in the area until the boat can be salvaged.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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