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Thai authorities this morning conducted an aerial search of a Myanmar family of three who went missing last night when a barge loaded with para wood sank off Koh Tao in Surat Thani.
The sunken barge was among a four cargo barges and two tug boats which left Surat Thani to deliver para wood chips to a factory in Chachoengsao’s Bang Pakong district.
On board the Air Force plane to inspect the scene of sunken barge about 10 nautical miles off Koh Tao was the governor of Surat Thani Mr Auychai Innark.
The missing family include the parent and their 3-year-old child.
Ropes that tied two barges to a tug boat were broken, sending them to drift in the rough sea.
One barge which the Myanmar family of three was among the crew members sank after it was hit by a five-metres high wave.
Five were picked up from the sea by Thai rescue teams from Koh Tao coming to the rescue by speedboats last night. But the family was not found.
The search was called off last night due to strong winds and high waves.
According to the Bangkok Post, the six vessels were taking shelter behind an offshore gas drilling platform between Koh Tao and Lang Suan bay in Luang Suan district of Chumphon after they were warned of high waves by weather forecasters.
An air force plane searched the area in the morning but failed to find any sign of the missing people, the governor said.
The navy’s Second Fleet, based in Songkhla, also sent a patrol ship to sea to join in the search.
But by late thus morning the teams still could not locate the missing family.