Initial investigation indicates driver might have dozed off
PHUKET: Thirty people, mostly Russian tourists, were injured and one tourist is missing after their speedboat hit a channel marker in Chalong Bay on Wednesday evening.
The accident occurred when the Thanathip Marine 555 was bringing 33 Russian tourists back from the Phi Phi islands to Chalong Bay at about 5.30pm, said Nachapong Pranit, the provincial marine chief. The boat driver, his assistant and a tour guide were also on board.
An initial investigation found that the boat driver, identified as Sathit Matchai, might have dozed off. The boat smashed into the channel marker located about 700 metres from the Chalong pier and sustained heavy damage.
About 10 people including the boat driver suffered broken limbs. Two people were reported to have serious injuries and others were slightly injured. They were taken to seven different hospitals on the island, according to local reports.
One tourist was missing and a rescue mission was under way.