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27 tourists and 3 crew members rescued after boat capsizes off Pattaya

BANGKOK – Twenty-seven foreign tourists were rescued from sea after their tourist boat capsized off Pattaya, Thailand on Dec 23.

The rescue team, Port Authority officials, and tourist police dispatched boats to assist the tourists, who were stranded about three nautical miles from Koh Larn, a nearby island.

Their catamaran tour boat had suddenly capsized after encountering strong waves around 6pm.

Rescuers brought the 27 Russian tourists and three crew members ashore. Most of them sustained injuries and signs of shock and distress due to the incident. They received preliminary medical treatment, before five tourists were transferred to hospitals.

The boat named Sea Beach was designed to accommodate approximately 40 passengers.

The boat captain said he had taken about 30 Russian tourists to Koh Larn in the morning for a party and water activities, and began ferrying them back to their hotel in the evening.

However, after travelling some distance, they encountered strong waves that damaged the boat, causing passengers to fall into the sea.

The Port Authority had raised a red flag in the morning, a warning that effectively bars small boats from leaving the Pattaya shore because of the rough sea.

The police took the boat captain and the owner for questioning and to face legal proceedings.

Police said the tourists were lucky to escape without any loss of life. However, they emphasised the need to raise awareness, especially among tour boat operators, regarding the red flag warning.

They urged cooperation and compliance from business operators to ensure safety of tourists and property. – THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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