THE Royal Thai Navy Region 3 sent HTMS Narathiwat to bring 162 tourists and 16 hotel workers stranded on Koh Racha Yai island by rough seas back to Phuket last night, the Thai-language daily Matichon reported this morning (Aug. 9, 2018).
The tourists who brought back to Phuket at 10 p.m. last night were from China, Russia and several other countries.
Vice Admiral Somnuk Prempramote, commander of the Royal Thai Navy Region 3, sent the ship after being alerted that help is needed to bring these tourists back to Phuket because the Marine Department head in Phuket had forbidden small boats from leaving the shore during August 7 to 9.
The tourists were really happy to see the ship and waved happily while also gratefully thanking the naval officers and government officials who had come to their rescue.
A Russian tourist said the day he came to Koh Racha Yai, which together with Koh Racha Noi are off southeastern coast of Phuket, the waves were calm so he did not think the sea would become so fierce, but when the time came to return he got a bit of a shock because he could not do, so was very happy the navy sent a ship to take him back to Phuket.
Vice Admiral Somnuk urged tour operators to keep tourists in mind when taking them on trips to the islands because if they cannot return it affects them in many ways such as cost of hotel accommodation and air tickets.
Tour agents should cancel island trips if the weather is not good especially these days when it is fluctuating as it could lead to errors occurring, he added.
Top and below: Happy tourists on board HTMS Narathiwat. Photos: Matichon