Friday 24 November 2017

Thailand speedboat accident kills female tourist while two people remain missing at sea

Koh Samui
Koh Samui

A Briton has died and another is missing after a speedboat capsized in rough seas off a popular tourist island in Thailand.

The woman was killed after a high wave crashed into the boat, carrying 32 tourists and four crew members, near Koh Samui on Thursday afternoon.

Police named the missing Briton as Jason Robert Parnell who was in Thailand with his wife Puga Parnell. She is said to have been unhurt.

Another British national was injured in the incident in which a woman from Hong Kong was also killed. A German national is still missing and navy divers are conducting searches for the tourists.

A senior police spokesman told the Press Association: "We're still trying to check everyone. One British woman has died and one from Hong Kong. Two people are missing."

He added that the bodies of the two women had been recovered from the sea.

According to a port official, the boat capsized because of strong winds and high waves. Some of those on the vessel were thrown overboard and became trapped beneath it.

At least one person had to be pulled from the hull after rescuers used a hammer to smash through it.

The boat's captain, Sanan Seekakiaw, said he had asked all tourists to wear a life vest but that some had taken them off during the journey.

A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said: "We are supporting the family of a British woman who has sadly died following a boat accident near Koh Samui, Thailand.

"Another British national has received treatment in hospital for injuries suffered in the same incident.

"We remain in contact with local authorities in Thailand for further information."

It is believed there were other British people on board the boat but they are understood to have been released from hospital following treatment for any injuries.

Four people remained in hospital on Friday, one with a broken shoulder and another with a skull fracture. The other two suffered from lack of oxygen and were being monitored for lung infections.

Koh Samui is among the most popular Thai island destinations for backpackers and luxury holidaymakers alike, and is known for its beautiful beaches, coconut plantations and waterfalls.

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