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Passengers and crew rescued from sinking ferry in Gulf of Thailand

Written by World Events

The 76 crew and passengers, mostly foreign tourists, on a ferry shuttling between a pier on mainland Surat Thani to the Koh Tao resort island in the Gulf of Thailand, were rescued on Friday morning, after the engine of the boat failed mid-voyage and water began to flow into the vessel.

The skipper of the Saengdee Maneesap 111 vessel sent a distress signal to the Koh Pha-ngan district office emergency unit and the police seeking emergency help. The boat was floating about seven kilometres from Koh Tao. The water pump had also failed.

The ferry, carrying passengers and cargo, had left Surat Thani late last night.

Upon receiving the SOS call, three rescue boats were dispatched to the scene. They managed to get all the passengers and crew on board and put them ashore on Koh Tao.

No passengers were injured, but the becalmed vessel ultimately sank. The Meteorological Department had warned sailors and fishermen to exercise great caution while navigating in the Gulf, due to rough seas, and to avoid stormy areas, where waves could reach 4 metres in height.

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