Severe winds converged to form a whirlwind at Pak Nakhon Bay, leading to the capsizing of no less than 12 boats in the Gulf of Thailand. The incident took place on a fateful Sunday evening when the whirlwind swept through Pak Nakhon Bay before taking to the shore and causing destruction across three districts – Pak Phanang, Muang, and Tha Sala.
The aftermath resulted in the unfortunate loss of Anusorn Maneewong, a 30-year-old local fisherman, whose body was discovered floating in the water after his long-tail boat had sunk within the bay. The Nakhon Si Thammarat Rescue Foundation was able to rescue five more individuals from the water; however, another 60-year-old fisherman still remains missing.
According to Pak Phanang police, the storm caused the sinking of at least 12 boats by Sunday evening. They raised concerns about the possibility of encountering more casualties, injuries, and wrecked boats. In a dramatic turn of events, a rescue boat belonging to the Tha Sala Subdistrict Administration Organisation capsized in the midst of strong winds and turbulent waves while on a mission to find victims within the bay. Thankfully, all four crew members were rescued and safely returned to shore.
The search and rescue operations continued into Monday, employing the services of marine police boats and a Royal Thai Air Force EC-725 helicopter. Air Chief Marshal Praphas Sonjaidee, the spokesperson, assured that the aircraft would encircle the area until all missing fishermen were accounted for.
Additionally, intense winds and waves caused the Raja 10 ferry to list and sink at Don Sak pier in the province of Surat Thani, located just north of Pak Nakhon Bay. The 2,005-tonne ferry primarily transports passengers to Koh Samui. No injuries were reported in this incident as all passengers had already disembarked from the vessel.
Surat Thani’s governor, Witchawut Jinto, demanded a comprehensive inspection of the ferry before granting it permission to resume sailing. By Monday, the ship had managed to right itself. Raja Ferry Plc stated that the ferry crew had closed the fuel valves in time to prevent any leakages into the sea. The company pledged to investigate the cause of the accident, as strong waves were believed to have driven the ferry into the pier, resulting in water seeping into the ship’s hull and causing the tilting.
In conclusion, this calamitous whirlwind that struck Pak Nakhon Bay and its surrounding districts has led to a series of unfortunate events that continue to unfold. The ongoing search and rescue operations in the area aim to find those still missing, and ferry operations are being closely inspected to ensure further accidents are prevented. The resilience of the Thai people and their undeterred spirit will undoubtedly help recover and rebuild after these challenging times.