Waterspout disaster: One dead, one missing as Thai tour boat sinks in Bang Ta Boon Bay

Bang Ta Boon Bay, via Facebook (Amazing Thailand)

In a tragic waterspout disaster off Ban Laem district, one holidaymaker perished, while another remains unaccounted for following the fateful sinking of a tour boat amid Bang Ta Boon Bay. The calamity took place on Saturday afternoon when a waterspout, an atmospheric oddity resembling a miniature tornado, assailed their vessel.

The rather unusual maritime waterspout disaster, highlighted due to its involvement with a spiralling atmospheric vortex, was reported to the 191 police emergency centre around 5pm. Sampan Jinping, a 63 years old individual who operated the boat, revealed that he had been contracted by a group of seven enthusiasts who were interested in exploring the picturesque surroundings of Bang Ta Boon Bay.

As the boat was starting its return journey back towards the mainland, approximately 2 kilometres out to sea, the elements turned hostile with an abrupt strike by a waterspout. The calamitous event unleashed a wave of destruction, sinking the boat and hurling all seven passengers into the deep waters.

Sampan also noted a hazardous lapse in safety measures, as not a single tourist aboard had been sporting a life jacket at the time of the disaster. Joined by a rescue squad from the Sawang Sanphet Thammasatan Foundation, Jinping succeeded in rescuing five of the outnumbered passengers from the perilous waters, albeit two of their colleagues were not as fortunate.

The recovery mission yesterday at 10am discovered the lifeless body of 25 year old Chanin Chompinthong 50 kilometres away from the shoreline. Meanwhile, 27 year old Kritsanat Kampanya remains unlocated, and the relentless search for him ensues, reported Bangkok Post.

Several months ago, a heartbreaking tragedy unfolded off the coast of Krabi province, as a longtail boat transporting a Malaysian family met with disaster, claiming the life of a pregnant Malay woman. Miraculously, the father and the Thai boat operator managed to survive. Read more HERE.

Thailand News

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.