PHUKET – Seven people, including five Chinese tourists, were injured when their speedboat hit a barge at Koh Rang off the east coast of this island province on Saturday afternoon.
The speedboat Sai Nam carrying 10 Chinese tourists was on the way back from a day trip to Koh Phi Phi in Krabi when it struck the barge carrying oil near the island, said Pol Capt Ekkasak Khwanwan, deputy investigator, who was alerted around 2.50pm.
The force of the crash caused the boat captain, a boat employee and five tourists to sustain injuries. All were taken to the Yamu pier in Thalang district before being sent to the Thalang and Mission Phuket hospitals. The injured Chinese included two boys, one woman and two men.
Staff of nearby boats came to their rescue to help the injured and pull the speedboat back to the pier. The boat sustained heavy damage to its bow.
Wiwat Chidcherdwong, director of the Phuket marine office, said there were 10 Chinese tourists, including eight adults and two children, and two employees on board the boat when the accident occurred.
The cause of the crash was being investigated, he said.
Saturday’s incident was the second involving a speedboat this week. Two Chinese tourists were slightly injured after their boat hit an underwater rock and sank off Koh Samet in Rayong on Thursday.
The boats driver Natthawut Puengkusol said the vessel sank after it hit an underwater rock near the island.
The injured tourists were identified as Lian Kaikai and his female tour colleague, Xhang Cuehua. They were sent to Rayong Hospital and the man was later discharged.
Pol Col Narongdet Thappajaya, chief of the Phe police station, said police are collecting evidence before deciding whether the driver would be charged.
By Achadtaya Chuenniran
The Bangkok Post