PHUKET – Two Chinese tourists have been killed and another 34 injured after two fully load speed boats carrying a total of 62 tourists collided of the coast of Phuket, Thailand.
Marine Authorities said the two boats, carrying 62 Chinese and South Korean tourists, collided in the Hin Musang area around 11.45am on Wednesday. The boats were travelling from Phuket to Ao Phangnga in Phangna and Phi Phi island in Krabi.
The two killed were identified as Mr.Liang Grianfu and Ms.Yan Yang both from China.
Wednesdayâ€™s crash was the latest incident to mar the countryâ€™s image as a tourist paradise, and the third crash in two weeks involving boats that shuttle vacationers to Thailandâ€™s resort islands â€“ often at high speed.
Lt. Col. Prasert Srikhunrat, deputy superintendent of Phuketâ€™s marine police said they were investigating how the two boats crashed in broad daylight but suspected that speed was a factor.
He said there was light rain, which decreased visibility but he did not believe weather was entirely to blame.
â€œLuckily everyone was wearing life vests, or the number of fatalities would have been higher,â€ he said.
On Sunday, a speedboat near the resort island of Koh Samet rammed into an anchored container ship, injuring 30 people on board, according to Thai news reports.
In late May, another speedboat carrying 32 tourists capsized in rough waters off Koh Samui, leaving three tourists dead. The victims were from Britain, Germany and Hong Kong.
In February, two Russian tourists were badly injured while scuba diving off Phi Phi island in Krabi province, when a speedboatâ€™s propeller severed one of the menâ€™s legs and cut deep gashes into the other manâ€™s leg.
A 52-year-old French woman died after being struck by a boat while swimming in waters reserved for snorkelers near an island off Krabi province.
By Achadtaya Chuenniran, AFP