Pattaya-Koh Lan passenger boat sinks
A passenger boat sank shortly after it left Koh Lan heading back to the Pattaya shore Sunday evening, police said. All of its 82 passengers were safely rescued by two other passenger boats.
Pattaya police chief Pol Col Sukthat Pumpanmuang was alerted that a passenger boat was sinking in the sea off Thonglang beach of Koh Lan. He dispatched police officers to inspect the accident and they found the Phet Thara 7 boat gradually sinking and all 82 passengers, who are officials from the Buri Ram Court, had been evacuated to two other passenger boats.
Khamtan Thungthaisong, 47, the boat skipper, said he had received the group of passengers from Tawaen beach to take them back to Pattaya but when the boat sailed past the Thonglang beach, water gushed into the boat’s bottom.
As a result, he sent out an SOS for boats nearby to evacuate the passengers while his boat gradually sank. He said he did not know what caused the water to leak into the boat.
Later on, Rewat Phoriang, the director of the Harbor Region 6 Office, which is in charge of Pattaya, ordered the owner of the boat to salvage it to find out what caused the accident.
Rewat said the boat might hit a rock, causing a hole in its hull, or its water pump might malfunction.
He praised the boat skipper for sending SOS signal in time for safe evacuation of passengers.
The Phet Thara company has changed its name from Koh Lan Travel after one of its boat sank in the Pattaya Sea, a source said.