Rescued tourists are seen on life rafts near the island of Phuket, Thailand, July 5, 2018. Until 8:30 p.m. local time (1330 GMT) Thursday, the majority of 133 passengers on two boats overturned by rough seas in southern Thailand were saved, but the Thai authority cannot confirm all of them are saved now, said Chinese Consulate-General in Songkhla on Thursday.(Xinhua)
BANGKOK, July 6 (Xinhua) -- Until 1:40 p.m. (0640 GMT) local time on Friday, a total of 16 people were confirmed dead after two boats carrying Chinese tourists were overturned by rough seas in southern Thailand, while 40 remained missing, Thailand authorities said on Friday.
In the Chalong Pier where a rescue command center was set up, several bodies have been seen transferred from boats to local hospitals since Friday morning.
Two boats carrying many Chinese tourists capsized at about 5:45 p.m. local time (1045 GMT) on Thursday.
All passengers on a boat named "Serenata" were rescued.
Of 105 passengers onboard another boat "Phoenix," 16 were killed, 40 remained missing, and 49 were rescued.
A volunteer diver who joined rescue operations from Thursday told Xinhua that they saw many bodies trapped under the capsized boat "Phoenix" deep in the sea.
Governor of Thailand's Phuket Province Norraphat Plodthong said during the press conference that the extreme weather was to blame for the accident, as the wind may have been the strongest in 10 years.
He told reporters that they have warned boats of storms in this period but the weather in the sea is hard to predict.