1 dead, 4 missing after ferry sinks off Thai island of Samui
BANGKOK (AP) — A ferry sank off the Thai island of Koh Samui, leaving at least one person dead and four others missing, officials said Sunday.
The ferry was carrying 12 crew members and four passengers when it sank in stormy conditions Saturday night after leaving Koh Samui's port, according to a statement on the Surat Thani Public Affairs Department Facebook page.
Nine people were rescued near the sunken vessel by rescue workers. Two more were found hours later near a nearby deserted island.
One person was found dead and four others were missing, the statement said.
Patchara Thiparat, one of the two found near the deserted island, said when everyone on the ferry realized what was going to happen, they put on lifejackets. But he got separated from the rest of the group because he was on the other side of the boat when it was sinking.
"The water (current) was very strong. It swept me away from the ship very quickly. Later I saw the island and then tried to swim toward it,” Patchara said.
The ferry was transporting goods and vehicles from Koh Samui, a popular tourist island in the Gulf of Thailand, to the mainland.