PHETCHABURI: One tourist died and another remained missing after a tour boat was hit by a waterspout and sank in the middle of Bang Ta Boon bay off Ban Laem district on Saturday afternoon.
The incident was reported to the 191 police emergency centre at about 5pm.
The boat was suddenly struck by a waterspout while it was taking seven passengers, all Thais, for a sightseeing excursion around the Ban Ta Boon bay.
After the vessel sank in sight of people on the shore nearby, a rescue unit from the Sawang Sanphet Thammasatan Foundation was despatched to search for those on board. The rescuers managed to pluck four women and a man from the water to safety with only minor injuries, but two remained unaccounted for.
At about 10am on Sunday, the body of a man in his early twenties was found to have washed ashore and was later identified to be of Chanin Chompinthong, one of the missing boat passengers.
A search and rescue team works near where the tour boat capsized, on Sunday. (Photo: Chaiwat Satyaem)
Before the body was found, Sampan Jinping, 63, the boat operator, said the two missing tourists were male, one wearing a Hawaiian shirt and the other a black T-shirt and jeans.
A video clip showing the tour boat being struck by the waterspout was taken by a man who was dining with his family at a restaurant on the shore.
The search for the missing man, also believed to be in his early twenties, was continuing.
Thailand has a poor health and safety track record on the water. Tourist hotspots have seen serious accidents, such as the deaths of almost 50 Chinese tourists in 2018 after their boat capsized off holiday island Phuket.