Dozens missing after tourist boat capsizes off Thailand

The first survivors from the boat sinkings earlier today have been brought ashore

At least seven missing after tourist boats capsize in Phuket, Thailand

All boat passengers were Chinese tourists, officials said.

At least seven people are missing after two tourist boats capsized in the popular resort of Phuket in Thailand, police have said.

One of the vessels, reportedly returning to Phuket from Koh Racha in the Andaman Sea, was carrying around 100 passengers when it overturned. The victim was found near one of a string of islands off Phuket's coast. We have stopped the rescue.

Thailand has a sketchy health and safety record and accidents are common on its roads and busy waterways - especially during the monsoon season which is now biting.

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Thailand is already making worldwide headlines after 12 boys and their junior soccer coach were found alive this week after becoming trapped inside a cave in the country's north.

Rescued tourists from a boat that sank rest on a pier Thursday on the island of Phuket. Speaking to local television late Thursday, the boat's captain, Somjing Boontham, said the vessel was pummeled. Most of the passengers onboard the yacht have been rescued but two are still missing, the department said.

"So I sent someone to them to wear life jackets".

Chinese tourists make up the biggest foreign visitors to Thailand, with numbers surging in recent years due to the increasing popularity of Thailand's islands and cosmopolitan.

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Officials had earlier issued a warning of severe weather until next Tuesday, including heavy rain and strong winds.

The boat was carrying 105 people, including 93 tourists, 11 crew and one tour guide when it toppled in 5-meter (16-foot) -high seas Thursday.

All of the passengers in both cases were pulled from the sea alive. The images also showed survivors being lifted from the rafts and sitting in life jackets amid ropes on the deck of what appears to be a fishing trawler. The reason for the discrepancies was not clear.

It added that the Chinese consulate in southern Thailand already had staffers on the scene helping its citizens.

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However, it was based on information received by the consulate at 8.30pm (1330 GMT), some three hours before Thai officials later confirmed some 53 people were missing and that the search had been called off until morning.

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