All Phuket boats told to stay ashore to facilitate search for 23 still missing

The Phuket Marine Office has issued an order prohibiting all boats from leaving the Ao Chalong bay to facilitate the search for 23 passengers still missing after two boat accidents on Thursday afternoon.

According to the latest report of the search and rescue centre of the province, 33 passengers, most of the Chinese tourists, were confirmed dead and 23 still missing.

The search, involving divers, navy soldiers, marine police, volunteers and officials from other agencie, was called off late on Friday night and was due to resume this morning.

To facilitate the search, all boats are prohibited from leaving boat piers at the Ao Chalong without permission from the search and rescue command centre.