As the rescue and recovery efforts continue for the 14 people still missing from the capsized Thai tour boat Phoenix, Thailand’s Marine Department has announced operating licenses have been revoked for both the Phoenix, and another tour boat the Sereniga — both of which capsized on Thursday in a heavy storm off Phuket island.
42 Chinese tourists died in the Phoenix accident, while everyone on board the Sereniga was rescued.
The Director General of the Marine Department, Jirut Wisanjit, confirmed today that both the operating licenses and the certificates of knowledge and ability have been revoked. Thus banning both the Phoenix and the Sereniga from operating as tour boats in the future.
The captains of both boats have also been charged. The captain of the Phoenix, Somjing Boontham, has been charged with recklessness causing death, while the captain of the Sereniga, Metha Limsakul, has been charged with recklessness causing physical and mental harm to others.
Meanwhile, search, rescue and recovery efforts for the missing 14 tourists are still taking place northwest of Phi Phi Don island. This is around 37 kilometers from where the Pheonix capsized, and where officials believe some of the missing people may have been carried in the current.
One other person’s body has been discovered trapped underneath the Pheonix, which is currently lying on the seabed. Rescue services say the body will be recovered tomorrow if they can figure out a way of floating the boat off the seabed.
Search teams have now ended their efforts for today, but they will continue the search for the missing 14 first thing tomorrow (Monday) morning.