Thailand tourist boat sinking: Death toll rises, at least 33 confirmed dead

At least 33 people are known to have died after a tourist boat capsized off the Thai holiday island of Phuket.

The news came as Thai authorities suspended their search for a second night.

The Phoenix - which had 105 people on board, mainly Chinese tourists - went down in bad weather on Thursday.

provincial governor Norapat Plodtong said 23 people were still unaccounted for, with 49 rescued.

Divers had made four underwater searches before the weather conditions made it too dangerous on Friday, the BBC Thai Service reports. They will resume the search on Saturday.

A total of 48 passengers were rescued by a fishing trawler on Thursday, while another survivor was pulled from the water several miles from the boat, along with several bodies, according to AFP.

She was rushed to hospital, but her condition is unknown. A total of 37 people have received treatment in hospital.

Another 39 people were saved when a second boat, carrying mostly European passengers, overturned at about the same time.

An investigation has been ordered into why the boats went out despite severe weather warnings.

Mr Plodthong said that a further 10 smaller boats were also stranded at sea on Thursday, adding that a weather warning had been issued because of "strong winds and storms" on Wednesday.

Thailand is bracing for the arrival of the monsoon season, which will bring heavy rain and storms to the area.


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