Issued at 15.00 Hrs. (GMT+7) on 8 July 2018
This is the third edition of the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s (TAT) update regarding the recent boat incidents, which took place on 5 July, 2018, in the Andaman Sea south of Phuket.
This morning, TAT Governor Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn issued a statement about the boat incidents in Phuket, saying that TAT would heighten safety measures for Chinese tourists in Thailand to prevent such events from occurring again in the future.
TAT has continued to cooperate closely with concerned public and private agencies to assist families and relatives of the victims who are travelling from China to claim the bodies of their loved ones as follows:
- Upon arrival at Phuket International Airport: Families and relatives of the deceased can contact the ‘emergency assistance centre’, a joint effort by the TAT Phuket Office, the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA), the Phuket Tourism Association (PTA) and the Thai Hotel Association (THA) Southern Chapter, upon their arrival at Phuket International Airport. The ‘emergency assistance centre’ will assign Chinese-speaking interpreters and assist with local transfers and accommodation as well as help obtain all necessary documentation to claim the bodies.
- Claiming the Bodies: Families and relatives of the deceased are advised to contact Vachira Phuket Hospital to identify photographs and belongings of their loved ones. Once the relations have been confirmed, families should then contact the officer of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Songkhla who is at the Phuket Tourist Assistance Co-ordinating Centre at Vachira Phuket Hospital to issue a certificate to receive the body from the Hospital. The Hospital will then issue a death certificate that identifies the causes of death for families to file for a police report. The police report can then be presented to the Hospital to claim the body.
Forensic Police in cooperation with the Chinese Consulate have so far confirmed identification of 33 of the 41 bodies recovered. The Phuket Public Health Office has also assigned doctors to care for families and relatives who may be suffering from stress from this traumatic event.
The search for survivors continued today by both air and water and expanded to cover the area around the boat by a radius of 500 metres and as far as Ko Phi Phi, Krabi and nearby islands. The Chinese Government has sent a team of 17 experts to assist in the search.
TAT is monitoring and assessing the situation and will be providing further details as the situation develops. In the meantime, we would like to encourage travellers to obtain information from various sources to get a balanced understanding about the reality on the ground in Thailand, so that they can plan their trips accordingly.