The Latest: Thai governor says 49 missing from tourist boat
PHUKET, Thailand (AP) — The Latest on boat accidents off southern Thailand (all times local):
A provincial governor says 49 people are missing from a boat carrying mostly Chinese tourists that overturned in rough seas off southern Thailand.
Strong winds were still blowing as searchers looked for the missing in the Andaman Sea off the tourist island of Phuket late Thursday.
Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong said 48 passengers were rescued from the boat, with 49 unaccounted for.
A police official had earlier said 90 people had been rescued and just seven were missing. The reason for the discrepancy was not immediately clear.
A second boat also overturned off Phuket on Thursday afternoon. But officials said the 39 Chinese and European tourists forced to abandon that boat were rescued and have returned to land.
Severe weather is forecast in the area until next Tuesday.
Police in the southern Thailand resort of Phuket say at least seven people are missing after rough seas overturned two boats carrying more than 130 tourists.
Phuket Provincial Police commander Maj. Gen. Teerapol Tipcharoen said 90 people had been rescued from one boat, but seven were still unaccounted for. He said the boat that overturned Thursday evening was carrying Chinese tourists.
Teerapol said 39 tourists, Chinese and European, were forced to abandon a second boat, but they were rescued and have returned to land.
Thai media showed photos of people rescued from one of the ships in large rubber life-rafts at sea, with fishing boats and churning water in the background.
The accidents were not reported to be related.