At least 27 dead after boat capsizes in Thailand

Tourists on the Phoenix PD diving boat are rescued by a trawler after their vessel sank in Phuket on Thursday

Thai rescue divers and a tourist police boat are seen during a search mission for missing passengers from a capsized tourist boat in the water off Phuket, Thailand, Saturday, July 7, 2018.

Some 48 passengers and crew members were rescued before the boat sank.

The boat was carrying 105 people, including 93 tourists, a lot of them from China, when it capsized and sank after it was hit by 5-metre (16-foot) waves.

According to the Associated Press, divers who entered the wreck of the tour boat Friday described heart-breaking scenes of bodies of children found in the arms of their mothers. The previous announced death toll was 33, with authorities saying all were Chinese.

The body of one of the passengers, believed to be a Chinese holidaymaker, had been pulled from the sea late yesterday and brought to shore, shortly before the search was called off for the night. They said a rescue operation was underway to find the missing 56.

It said that 37 of the furniture company's employees and family members had traveled together to Phuket and that on July 5 at around 5 p.m. they encountered the "biggest storm in five years" and they sought the government's help.

The Thai navy said the Phoenix had sunk 40 metres below the surface, a few kilometres (miles) off the coast of Koh He, an islet known for its coral formations and popular with day-trippers from Phuket.

The Thai incident came after an overloaded boat carrying illegal Indonesian immigrants capsized in bad weather off Malaysia's southern Johor state late Sunday, killing 10 and leaving nine missing.

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It is only a small battle we've won, but the war has not ended. "We are still at war with water and time", Osottanakorn also said. I promise I will take care of the children the best I can. "Thank you for all the moral support and I apologise to the parents".

"The accidents had left dozens of people stranded in the water with life vests on, however, 38 are still missing, " Prapan said.

The accident comes as Thailand is already embroiled in an effort to rescue 12 boys and their soccer coach who are trapped inside a flooded cave.

Numerous dead were found drifting in the sea, still wearing life jackets, several kilometres from where the Phoenix went down after being hit by five-metre (15-foot) high waves in a storm on Thursday evening.

When waves started flooding the vessel, causing it to slowly keel over, Somjing ordered life rafts to be inflated and instructed passengers to put on life jackets.

Governor Noraphat said Phuket officials had issued a weather warning on Wednesday alerting the public about impending storms.

"China expresses gratitude for the active search and rescue efforts made by Thailand", the spokesman, Lu Kang, told a regular briefing.

Road and boat accidents involving tourists are common in Thailand, where safety standards are sometimes well below worldwide norms.

Phuket is a magnet for overseas visitors including British sun-seekers and huge numbers of Chinese tourists who make up the bulk of the 35 million people expected to visit this year.

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