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A Royal Thai Navy helicopter took to the sky at first light this morning as the search continued in the hope of finding 58 people still missing from the two boat sinkings amid the storm late yesterday afternoon.
Speaking from the Phuket Marine Office at Chalong Pier, Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong early today (July 6) confirmed that the body of one Chinese tourist had been recovered near Koh Aeo. That body was brought ashore last night. Reporters at the scene confirmed that the body was still wearing a life vest emblazoned with the logo of the Phoenix tour boat that sank yesterday.
Gov Norraphat also confirmed that two tourists recovered last night were in serious condition and a further nine tourists had received hospital treatment for their injuries
The two Russian tourists who were caught by the storm while riding a jet-ski off Koh Racha were rescued by a passing fishing boat, he added.
However, Gov Norraphat this morning revised the number of people missing to 58, up from 53 late last night.
Two people were missing from the Senerita, which sank off Koh Mai Thon, which is now reported to have had 42 people on board – not 39, as consistently reported yesterday.
On board the Senerita were 35 tourists, five crewmen, one guide and one photographer, Gov Norraphat rpeorted.
The two people still missing were named as boat mechanic Aroon Habinsun and 30-year-old Chinese tourist Sun Hua Fang.
The Phoenix was carrying 105 people – 93 tourists, and 12 crewmen and guides – Gov Norraphat confirmed
Of those 36 tourists and the 12 crew and guides had been rescued, leaving 56 tourists from that boat alone still missing as of this morning.
The two still missing from the Senerita brings the total missing to 58.
As the search continues all boats less than 10 metres in length are banned from putting to sea anywhere across the main tourism islands of Phang Nga Bay, including Phi Phi Island.