River tugboat sinks, both crew missing

River tugboat sinks, both crew missing

The overturned tugboat in the Chao Phraya River in front of Wat Phanan Choeng Voraviharn in Ayutthaya province on Wednesday morning. The boat driver and his wife were missing. (From video posted on @Ayutthayaruamjai rescue Facebook page)
The overturned tugboat in the Chao Phraya River in front of Wat Phanan Choeng Voraviharn in Ayutthaya province on Wednesday morning. The boat driver and his wife were missing. (From video posted on @Ayutthayaruamjai rescue Facebook page)

A boat driver and his wife were missing after their barge tug sank in the Chao Phraya River opposite Wat Phanan Choeng Voraviharn in Ayutthaya province late Wednesday morning.

The tugboat was pulling five cargo barges to a pier in Nakhon Luang district of the central province.

It sank in the strong current at the confluence of the rain-swollen Chao Phraya and Pasak rivers about 11.15am, the Ayutthaya Ruamjai Association's rescue team reported on its Facebook page.

Somchai Tharnkul, 60, driver of the tugboat, and his wife Naruemol Tharnkul, were both reported missing.

Pol Col Thanawat Sakulwong, deputy investigation chief of Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya police station, and rescue workers were sent to the scene.

A witness, Yuphin Saisukol, told police the tug was pulling five barges. The tug driver lost control of his boat. She used her mobile phone to record a video of what happened, Thairath Online reported.

A diving team was searching for the missing couple. 

Ayutthaya Ruamjai Association rescue team video of the sinking tugboat in the Chao Phraya River, near Wat Phanan Choeng Voraviharn, in Ayutthaya province on Wednesday morning. The tug captain and his wife were confirmed missing.

A woman is heard saying in the clip "Careful, calm down" and shouting "Careful'' then screaming "The tug sinks'' before no voice is heard. (A clip posted on @Ayutthayaruamjai Facebook page)


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