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Body of missing tour boat crewman found

Samui Times Editor



Body of missing tour boat crewman found | Samui Times
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Search teams today found the body of missing tour boat crewman Kittpong Samanbut, who fell overboard in a deadly collision of the tour boat he was working on with a large motoryacht off Koh Khai Nok late Wednesday afternoon (Dec 18).

Body of missing tour boat crewman found | News by Samui Times

The news was announced at about 2pm by Phang Nga Governor Chamroen Tipayapongtada, who has also previously served for years as a Phuket Vice Governor and in 2016 served as Phuket Governor.

A search team from the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Phang Nga office (DDPM-Phang Nga) located Mr Kittipong’s body floating about one kilometre from where the collsision occurred on Wednesday, Gov Chamroen explained today (Dec 21).

The body has been taken to Koh Yao Chaiphat Hospital, where it will undergo further examination before being handed over to his family for his funeral, he said.

Today confirmation by copy of Mr Kittipong’s ID card showed that Mr Kittpong was just 17 years old, not 18 as consistently previously reported by search teams.

More than 50 tour operators and related agencies used more than 20 boats to search for Mr Kittipong since the collision, Governor Chamroen explained.

The collision occurred approximately 2.5km north of Ko Khai Nui, located halfway between Phuket and off Koh Yao Yai, he added.

The search for Mr Kititpong began Wednesday evening as soon as it was realised that he had fallen overboard in the collision.

The search continued late into the night, and resumed each day, with divers joining the search on Thursday. (See story here.)

Surat Mat-O-Sot, the 49-year-old captain of the tour boat, Choksuphasan 35, later died from injuries sustained in the collision, which occurred shortly before 4:30pm on Wednesday.

The motoryacht Stallion, a luxury Pershing 72 skippered by Russian national Alexander Gorbunov, 47, suffered little damage in the collision, and rendered immediate assistance, taking 36 of the 46 tourists on board the tour boat to Ao Po Grand Marina. (See story here.)

While the Koh Khai islands are located only some 7.6km direct east of Koh Siray, on the east side of Phuket Town, the islands in terms of administration are technically in Phang Nga.

The collision left six tourists admitted to hospital for broken bones and other serious injuries, and at least 11 more treated for minor injuries from the impact. (See story here.)

Capt Surat was involved in another sea collision in 2014 that killed two Korean tourists and injured 26 others. In that incident, Surat was the helmsman of the Seastar 29, which had more than 40 tourists on board returning from a day-trip to the Phi Phi Islands, when it collided with the fishing vessel Sinpichai 11.

Surat said he had bent down to pick up a black plastic bag that had blown into the boat, and that he only noticed the trawler when he looked up. He turned sharply to try to avoid a collision but the speedboat became caught up in the trawler’s fishing equipment and tipped over. (See story here.)
The Phuket News

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