Dozens of people are still missing in waters off the resort island of Phuket after a diving boat packed with tourists capsized in a storm.

The commander of Phuket Provincial Police, Teerapol Tipcharoen, said seas have calmed since the Thursday evening’s accident and the search is ongoing for the 56 missing people.

The boat was carrying 105 passengers, including 93 tourists, 11 crew and one tour guide when it toppled in five metre-high seas on Thursday.

Thailand Boat AccidentsAmbulances lined up on a pier waiting for rescued tourists (AP)

One Chinese male passenger has been confirmed dead, and at least 12 people hospitalised.

Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong said 48 passengers were rescued from the boat, with 49 unaccounted for.

Police previously said 90 people had been rescued from the boat and just seven were missing.


Another boat also overturned off Phuket on Thursday and officials said all 42 on board have been rescued.

Thai media showed photos of rescued people in large rubber life rafts at sea, with fishing boats and churning water in the background.

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.


Phuket officials had earlier issued a warning of severe weather until Tuesday, including heavy rain and winds.

“All agencies are co-operating in their search at this time,” Mr Norraphat said. “We have given warnings… but the winds are strong.”

He said officials would consider whether to ban boats from going to sea during strong winds.