THE SOUTHERN region is being hit by strong winds and high waves with 12 fishing boats having capsized in Nakhon Si Thammarat this morning (Apr. 16) and many fishermen missing while a ferry in Surat Thani sank halfway at noon, TV Channel 7 said.
The Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department received a report that at 8 a.m. a storm brought strong winds and large waves to Pak Phanang Bay in Pak Phanang and Sichon districts causing 12 small fishing boats to capsize.
Seven fishermen were rescued and many are still missing and a search is underway.
In Surat Thani Racha 10 ferry belonging to Raja Ferry Port Plc sank halfway at a wharf after dropping off passengers from Koh Samui. Strong waves had slammed the hull causing the boat to hit the pier and seawater then flowed in. However there were no injuries.
The company has switched off the engine and surrounded the ferry with rafts to prevent an oil spill.
Meanwhile at Koh Samet, Rayong, officials put up a red flag at Sai Kaew beach as a warning to tourists to refrain from swimming as there is a dangerous deep water trough in the area amid strong winds with Tourism Authority of Thailand alerted to follow instructions.
Mr. Nithat Nunsong, head of Khao Laem Ya-Mu Koh Samet National Park, told tourists to be careful amid high waves and strong winds with those travelling to Koh Samet by boat urged to wear a life jacket throughout the journey.
Top and Front Page: Rescue underway at Nakhon Si Thammarat today (Apr. 16). Photo: TV Channel 7