British, German, Chinese Women Die in Yet Another Speedboat Tragedy

Rescue workers smash a hole in a capsized boat Thursday to pull a woman free off Koh Samui. Photo: Associated Press

KOH SAMUI — Navy divers and other rescuers searched Friday for one foreigner still missing after a speedboat packed with tourists capsized near the island resort of Koh Samui that left three women dead, officials said.

The boat, carrying 32 tourists and four crew members, was traveling from Anghong island to Samui Thursday afternoon when it capsized because of strong winds and high waves, said Pichet Sudduan, a port official. The occupants were thrown overboard and some were trapped under the capsized vessel.

At least one person was pulled out after rescuers used hammers to smash a hole in the vessel's hull.

Police Maj. Gen. Apichart Boonsriraj said both the dead are women, and have been identified as a Briton and a German. He said the missing tourists are from Hong Kong and Britain.

The body of a third woman, identified as Chinese, was also recovered Friday, Varisara Wangboon of Samui Rescue Foundation said just after noon. 

The boat was traveling at about 10 knots (18kph), according to its captain, Sanan Seekakiaw. He said high waves crashed onto the bow and the impact overturned the boat. Sanan said he had asked all tourists to wear life vest but some had taken theirs off during the journey.

Four people remained in hospital Friday out of the 28 who were brought for treatment, said Dr. Theerasak Viriyanon. He said that of the four, one has a fractured shoulder and another has a fracture in the skull. The remaining two suffered from lack of oxygen and were being monitored for lung infections.

Story: Associated Press
 

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