The captain of the dive boat Phoenix claims that four- to five-metre waves hit the boat and caused it to sink.
Somjing Boontham said the boat was carrying 105 passenger – 93 tourists, 12 boat crew and tour guides.
“Yesterday (July 5) we left Chalong Pier at 9am heading to Koh Racha. After that we were heading back to Chalong pier at 4.30pm.
“When we were near Mong Cape, about two nautical miles from Koh Hei, four- to five-metre wave hit the front part of our boat. Seawater flooded inside the vessel. The water pump was not fast enough to pump the water out and the boat began to lean.
“I asked all passengers to check that their life jackets were secure. Two life rafts were deployed while nearby fishing boats were contacted for help. The boat sank very quickly. We did our best to keep the passengers calm and keep them safe during the chaos.”
“Fifty-one of us were rescued by Pattana 11 and 12 fishing boats. Other passengers, I am not sure if they have been rescued by other boats as it was too dark and the weather conditions were very poor.”