PHUKET – Thai and foreign tourists trapped on Racha Yai island after a heavy storm were lifted to safety by the Thai navy vessel HTMS Sriracha, police said on Sunday.
A total of 157 tourists, comprising 141 foreigners and 16 Thais, were stuck on the island on the east coast of Phuket after a rainstorm arrived on Saturday morning, bringing strong winds and four-metre high waves.
The Provincial Navy Region 3 vessel HTMS Sriracha went to rescue the stranded tourists and take them back to Phuket’s Muang district at around 8pm Saturday.
Marine Police inspector Panya Chaichana said the rough weather wrecked 25 personal boats docked along the shores in the district. The damage was estimated at more than 10 million baht.
Many of the damaged vessels are sailboats meant to be used in an upcoming sailing competition scheduled to take place from Dec 1 to 6.
Pol Lt Col Panya said officers have been deployed to provide aid to boat owners and to help salvage their vessels.
The storm also damaged hotels and resorts on Racha Yai island, he said.