PHUKET – The bodies of two missing South Korean tourists have been found in waters near Thailand’s southern resort city of Phuket on Tuesday, two days after the tourist boat they were in collided with a fishing vessel, police said.
Marine police and volunteer rescuers found and retrieved the bodies — a man and a woman — more than 30 meters underwater and under the wreckage of the tourist boat, police Col. Phrutthipong Nutchanart said.
The official of the Korean Embassy in Thailand identified the victims as the 31-year-old man, Yuwin Wo, and the 28-year-old woman, An Sun Yong.
The tourist speedboat was carrying 44 foreign and Thai tourists and crew members from Phi Phi Island, which is famous for its white sandy beaches. Most of those aboard were rescued by marine police and villagers on boats.
The Thai speed boat driver was held by police for questioning and was initially facing charges of causing severe bodily harm by reckless act. “Now that a body is found, we will have to press the additional charges of causing death by reckless act against him.
The tourists, who were mostly Chinese but included four Koreans. No one else was killed. Authorities said some of the survivors suffered broken bones and internal injuries.
It was second fatal tourist boat accident in Thailand this month. Two Indian tourists drowned Oct. 5 after the boat they were in capsized in bad weather, also along Thailand’s southern Andaman Sea coast. The boat’s operator was charged with reckless operation of a vehicle.