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Toll from deadly Thai tourist boat sinking rises to 41

Toll from deadly Thai tourist boat sinking rises to 41”

Vice Admiral Somnuk Preampramot, Commander of the Royal Thai Navy Third Area Command, announced the news at a press briefing today, as Phuket Governor Norraphat confirmed that the search continues for 14 people still missing, with 49 of the 105 people on the Phoenix rescued and the number of dead now confirmed at 42.

The death toll from the sinking of a tourist boat off the coast of Thailand's Phuket island continued to climb on Saturday with 15 people still missing, according to Thai officials.

It was hit by massive waves which prompted it to keel over.

"One body was found late Thursday, and the remainder on Friday".

At least 10 of the dead where Chinese tourists.

Thai rescue divers and a tourist police boat are seen during a search mission for missing passengers from a capsized tourist boat in the water off Phuket, Thailand.

Twenty-nine passengers remain unaccounted for but are believed to have been trapped on the Phoenix - which went down on Thursday in heavy seas with dozens of Chinese tourists on board.

"The skies were clear when we went out, we had no idea the weather could change so fast", said Wu Jun, 28, from the hospital bedside of his wife Long Hai Ning.

Police were investigating whether the double-decker Phoenix dive boat had been inspected by marine officials as required before it set sail Thursday, Weerasak said.

Her sister, Chen Wei, a businesswoman from China's Chongqing province, said the disaster was caused by human error and could have been avoided, noting that passengers in the video were not wearing life vests.

The Thai navy said the Phoenix had sunk 40 metres below the surface, a few kilometres off the coast of Koh He, an islet known for its coral formations and popular with day-trippers from Phuket. Most of the recovered bodies had not yet been sent ashore to be held at Vachira Phuket Hospital.

Helicopters continued to scan the water Friday afternoon in what appeared to be an increasingly forlorn hunt for survivors.

"I'm not really sure how many will survive", Phuket Governor Noraphat Plodthong told reporters.

The boat was among three vessels that ignored a bad weather warning against day trips to the islands surrounding the tourist magnet of Phuket.

Several other vessels hit trouble late on Thursday, but all of their passengers were rescued.

Thailand is already making global headlines after 12 boys and their junior soccer coach were found alive this week after becoming trapped inside a cave in the country's north.

Chinese rescue team arrive at Chalong pier in Phuket in Phuket, Thailand, Sunday, July 8, 2018.

In Beijing, a foreign ministry spokesman said China's top leaders, including President Xi Jinping, were paying close attention to the incident. It quoted the envoy calling on Thailand to quickly mobilize an intensive search for the missing and "to tend and make appropriate arrangements for the rescued Chinese tourists, treat and cure the injured and receive family members of the Chinese tourists involved".



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