Bad weather hampers search for UK tourist

Governor Wongsiri Phromchana said the provincial administration had issued an announcement for all ships to exercise caution and for small boats to stay ashore due to heavy rains, strong winds, and large swells in the Andaman Sea.

He said he would ask the Marine Department’s Koh Samui1 office to get stricter on checking vessels and require all speedboat passengers to wear life vests. British tourist Jason Pawell went missing after a speedboat carrying him and 31 other foreign tourists plus four crew, capsized while returning to Samui2 on Thursday. Three female tourists were killed in this accident – German Kafo Buamann, 51, Briton Monica Cozma, 28 and a Hong Kong resident known only as Laikerica, 30. The driver, Sanan Seetakaew, 47, was charged with recklessness causing death and injuries.

In Krabi, a long-tailed boat capsized on Friday, resulting in four injuries.

The driver, Bumrung Panan, 30, surrendered to police at around 7pm that day. He was charged with reckless driving causing injuries and property damage, loading a boat beyond the legal limit and failing to renew the boat’s licence. Bumrung was transporting 14 foreign tourists from Rai Lay Bay to Klong Ying Sua Pier when the accident happened. He claimed that three tourists sat at the head of the boat despite his objection and when they reached the pier, he turned into the canal and strong waves struck the boat, resulting in it capsizing. He said he fled the scene because he was in shock and spoke to his family before surrendering to police. Bumrung was later yesterday sentenced by Krabi Court to pay a Bt3,000 fine for overloading his boat and using a vessel with an invalid licence.

Krabi Marine Office director Boonchao Tangsiripaisan said he would summon Bumrung tomorrow to consider temporarily suspending his boat-driving licence.


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