Divers critically injured by Phi Phi boat's propellers
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Divers critically injured by Phi Phi boat's propellers

Tourists enjoy the beach at Maya Bay, Phi Phi islands. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Tourists enjoy the beach at Maya Bay, Phi Phi islands. (Bangkok Post file photo)

KRABI - A Russian diving instructor's leg was severed and his student severely lacerated by a twin-engined speedboat's propellers in Koh Phi Phi's Maya Bay on Wednesday.

The accident occurred between Koh Phi Phi Lae and Koh Phi Phi Don shortly before noon, Pol Lt Col Jetsada Chanpoom, chief of Muang Krabi sub-police station on Phi Phi island said.

The two divers, both Russian nationals, were each struck by the propellers of a two-engine speedboat ferrying 30 tourists from Nopparat Thara Beach to Maya Bay.  

The injured, whose names are not known, were initially taken to Koh Phi Phi hospital and later moved to Krabi hospital due to the serious nature of their injuries.

The surgeon finally completed the amputation of the instructor’s critically damaged right leg from the knee down. The student diver suffered three major lacerations to his right leg. Both men were reported to be in critical condition.

The ferry boat driver Adisorn Denmamood, 27, told police he did not see two divers, who were in a "navigation channel".

Pol Col Sompong Tiparpakul, chief of Muang Krabi police station, told INN radio news that a preliminary examination found the spot where the accident occured did not have buoys showing it was a diving zone. The two men were surfacing from underwater when they were struck by the boat propellers. There were strong winds and high seas in the area at the time.

He said the boat driver did not attempt to flee after the accident and was being detained for further questioning.

Pol Maj Gen Surachet Hakphan, commander of the Tourist Police Division, told the Bangkok Post  the boat driver, Mr Adisorn, was at fault. He entered an area off-limits to navigation while the two Russians were diving.

He said he would go to Krabi on Thursday for an urgent meeting with local agencies to come up with new measures to prevent a repeat of Wednesday’s accident.

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