Search mounted for 49 people missing in sea off Phuket

Forty-nine people are still missing while 89 others were plucked from the rough sea off Phuket this afternoon after one dive boat and a yacht capsized.

Phuket governor Norapat Plodthong said at about 9 pm search teams were still looking for the remaining 49 people from the two ill-fated vessels.

It was reported that the dive boat with about 90 divers and their dive masters capsized off Koh Hey (Hey island) whereas a yacht with 39 passengers and crews went down in the stormy sea off Mai Thon island.

Rescue boats were rushed to their rescue off the two islands and managed to pluck from the sea altogether 89 people from the two vessels.  Of the 89 people, nine of them were injured and one in serious condition.

Two Russian tourists were also saved after their jet-ski capsized off Racha island.

The Royal Thai Navy has sent some of its vessels to join in the search and rescue operations.

Governor Norapat said that several tourist boats left Phuket in the morning as the weather was fine, but there was strong wind in the evening, causing the two vessels to capsize.