Issued at 17.00 Hrs. (GMT+7) on 07 July 2018
With reference to our first update regarding the recent boat incidents, which took place in the Andaman Sea south of Phuket, we would like to provide more information regarding the assistance measures as follows:
- H.E. Mr. Weerasak Kowsurat, Minister of Tourism and Sports, held meetings with the concerned authorities and stakeholders on the assistance measures for the affected tourists. He extended his sympathies and condolences to the families and friends of the tourists who lost their lives while reassuring that everything possible was being done to find the missing passengers of the boat, Phoenix, which capsized and sank near Ko Hei (Coral Island), south of Phuket.
- More than 800 rescuers were deployed in the search operation including 70 divers. The operation efforts dispatched 17 vessels including two naval ships, and six helicopters. As of 15.05 Hrs., 15 people were still missing while 41 were confirmed dead.
- The Royal Thai Embassy in Beijing, Royal Thai Consulate General in Shanghai and Royal Thai Consulate General in Guangzhou are providing services for visa applications for the families and relatives of the affected tourists. See the graphic below for the five-step assistance procedures.
- The TAT Phuket Office, the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA) and the Phuket Tourism Association (PTA) have set up an emergency assistance centre at Phuket International Airport. Chinese-speaking interpreters are assigned to help facilitate the families of the affected tourists at the International Terminal’s 1st Floor (with internet connection and computer units) and 3rd Floor Opposite Row H, and at the Domestic Terminal’s 1st Floor in front of the Information Counter. ATTA and PTA will provide one Chinese-speaking guide and one vehicle per one family of the affected tourists to assist them during their stay in Phuket. Meanwhile, the Thai Hotels Association (THA) will help provide accommodation and meals.
- Thailand’s major telephone service providers, AIS, TrueMove and DTAC are providing free 24-hour international and domestic calls for tourists and Thais affected by the boat incidents. DTAC has set up a temporary service counter at Vachira Phuket Hospital. AIS’s temporary service centres are available at Vachira Phuket Hospital and Phuket Province Hospital while TrueMove’s are located at Vachira Phuket Hospital, Phuket Province Hospital and Chalong Bay.
- 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.
Photo gallery: H.E. Mr. Weerasak Kowsurat, Minister of Tourism and Sports, chaired a meeting with the concerned authorities and stakeholders in Phuket on 6 July 2018