Pattaya Ferry Disaster Update – Captain arrested, Deputy PM visits the injured

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Monday saw much activity surrounding the Pattaya Ferry Disaster which occurred on Sunday which resulted in the death of 6 and injuries sustained to over 100 passengers of which 16 are thought to be in a serious condition.

The search for those who are thought to be missing continued throughout Monday as 20 members of the 626 Royal Thai Navy Search and Rescue Unit continued their search for more bodies and also dived down to the sunken boat to see if any bodies remained there. No bodies were found but a large hole in the rear of the boat was seen which seemed to suggest that the boat may have collided with another object prior to it sinking.

A partial list of those who perished in the ferry disaster was issued with two of the foreign nationals who died yet to be officially identified although the Russian Embassy in Bangkok confirmed that one Russian female had died. The list confirmed the death of three Thai nationals: Khun Natawadee aged 44, Khun Ali aged 67 and Khun Choochart aged 52, a Hong Kong National Mr. To Kin Man aged 48 and two unnamed “Europeans” aged 60 and 45 also perished in the disaster.

An early morning meeting chaired by the Governor of Chonburi Province was held at Pattaya City Hall and was attended by local police and government agencies involved in the Ferry Disaster. It was concluded that a lack of regulation on passenger ferries was caused by a focus on speedboat and Jet Ski issues which distracted marine department officials from the lack of regulation of these ferries. The Governor demanded an immediate implementation of strict regulations for all marine vessels which operate in Pattaya Bay and strict enforcement for those who disobey the regulations.

At 11.30am on Monday, the Ferry Captain Khun Saman aged 42, gave himself up to Pattaya Police and claimed he was drinking prior to the disaster which saw his boat hit rocks as it left Nuan Beach on Larn Island. Survivors reported shouting at the Boat Captain to stop the boat as water was coming on-board fast, but the Captain initially refused to stop until it was too late. Passengers panicked as the boat began to sink and made their way to the upper-deck which caused the boat to become unstable.

Police decided to conduct a urine test on the Captain who was found to have recently consumed methamphetamine, despite earlier claims he had not taken drugs.

At a press conference led by Police General Wutti, Senior Adviser to the National Police Commissioner, it was confirmed that the Captain would be charged with multiple offences relating to negligence causing multiple deaths and injuries to his passengers.

Later in the day, the Deputy Prime Minister Khun Yukon chaired a meeting at Pattaya City Hall where he was briefed on the current situation. He was told that poor enforcement of marine regulations was ultimately to blame for the disaster as the overloaded ferry should not have been allowed to sail. He later visited a selection of survivors at the Pattaya Memorial Hospital and Bangkok Hospital Pattaya and assured patients that every effort is being made to ensure that a similar disaster at sea will not occur.

The AIG New Hampshire Insurance Company confirmed on Monday that the Ferry was fully insured. 300,000 Baht will be paid to the families of the deceased victims and 100,000 Baht payments will be made to those who were injured. All medical expenses for those currently in Hospital will also be completely covered.

Local Government Officials have concluded that the short term effect on Tourism will be significant as Pattaya moves into the High Season months but long-term they expect to restore confidence in Pattaya and its marine activities. Some believe the disaster was waiting to happen and will not change anything. The City will undoubtedly be watched closely over the coming months to see if strict regulations are enforced or not.

Initial Story:

  • John Guru

    And where will the authorities find the diligent, knowledgeable and non-corruptible people that should enforce the maritime regulations in Pattaya??? Not in Thailand!! If they found such people the corrupt authorities and Puyai would soon see them corrupted, moved or scared off!

  • Ryan

    The 300,000 baht per deceased passenger is subject to the deceased’s estate signing a release. It is the maximum payable under the policy per incident. It is also a pittance. Nothing precludes the injured parties from taking action against the ferry owners. Well, nothing except a judicial system that many foreigners consider is based against foreign plaintiffs.

  • gwats1957

    AIG is only paying less that $10,000USD for the dead, and $3000 for the injured? That’s a serious outrage! I’d suggest a lawsuit.

  • Chromodynamix

    The Thaitanic!

  • Donny64

    Disgusting untruthful people…Nothing ever changes there, and it never will…Get well soon!

  • Tai G

    And now how much will they fine the caption , a hefty 1000baht ???

  • Mark_My_Words

    No more island hopping for me in Pattaya!!

  • Don1

    “He was told that poor enforcement of marine regulations was ultimately to
    blame for the disaster as the overloaded ferry should not have been
    allowed to sail” ….. Nothing to do with consuming alcohol and methamphetamine and then hitting some rocks whilst pinging of his rocker! WTF,,,,, Buts its OK the dead’s family’s got a few grand and everything is sweet again. Whats it going to take to stop this nonsence as even Manaila is looking better than Pattaya these days in regards to corruption and not abiding by the laws.

    who was found to have recently consumed methamphetamine – See more at:
    who was found to have recently consumed methamphetamine – See more at:

  • aussie jeff

    As usual – lots of apologies & more promises from local govt & law enforcement. Nothing will ever change. Despite what the diehards & apologists say : Thailand is one country determined to stay firmly Third World in its style, plodding & thinking. Corruption is so firmly institutionalized that not even a tsunami can sweep it away.

  • xxx2

    “Captain” – what does one do to become a “captain” on a local island-hopper? Go to primary school and never learn to count, party with friends on board & forget you have passengers, take drugs, hit the rocks, run away when the boat is in trouble……….Imagine having several hundred of these types managing boats in Thailand as time and again we hear – from lesser incidents.

    And as for “focus on speedboat and jet ski issues” NOT, NOT, NOT – just stand with a camera on Beach Road and witness first hand the daily tourist rip-offs which have continued for 20+ years almost on the doorstep of Pattaya Police Station. shame.

  • Paul England

    Lots of hot air until the media frenzy dies down, then back to the usual unsafe practices in a few weeks.

    Oh, and the captain shouldn’t worry too much; either he’ll be bailed for years and/or disappear or fined after a long appeal.

  • Phoenix one

    Oh yeah,sure. Being italian ,I know very well these kind of declarations,good will,promises given by the politicians. Of course,don t believe one word from them.

  • adrian

    This is a shocking story of incompetence and greed. I don’t buy the jet ski BS nothing has been done. I would urge people to “share” the story of this disaster on social media. Try to warn everyone you can,maybe you could save somebody. I doubt this will be the last disaster. I bet there are overloaded boats everyday.

  • PattayaBoring

    where you go? some remote area where your white skin stands for fertility and where on arrival all girls from the village want a baby from you? let me come with you, i wanna live like a king too!!! lets go instincts go go go!!!

  • khun Thai

    Captain Methamphetamin… WTF?

  • aussie jeff, the real one

    if you were to proceed with a lawsuit as a victim of the boat sinking gwats would you engage a thai lawyer, mmm I wonder

  • Pete

    ‘ ….for those who where thought to be missing…’

    In other words: nobody know exactly how many people where on board!

    Except getting bribes on time, what do those officals actually do know or care?

    And what about the life jackets, 1 jacket for each passenger, why is that so difficult to make that a rule for each boat?

  • allcents

    hahahahaaaaaa…good one…still i think its best leave trevor to his own devices because he sounds like a serious uptight kinda guy and us patt addicts all know its not a place for a self-righteous judgemental tourist, so loosin up trev or forget about thailand….. period….

  • gwats1957

    Or, maybe a Farang Lawyer licensed to practice law in Thailand…

  • Tummers

    Outrageous, but totally expected for Pattaya!!

  • Lee

    Travelling to Thailand is like playing Russian roulette
    (excuse my analogy)
    Over the past few years we’ve all read about coaches cashing
    and most of us have taken a meter taxi driven by the failed formula one driver,
    and try as you might you keep telling him to slow down!!
    And what is the common denominator when they are involved in an accident?

    They run from the seen or there high on drugs.

    So ask yourself, would you put your life in their hands for
    300,000 Baht (£5,900, $9,500 or 7,120 euro’s) as someone has posted that wouldn’t
    even get your body back home.

  • Dave

    Instead of urine testing bar staff in clubs they should start testing ,boat captains,taxi drivers,baht bus drivers,jet ski operators,coach drivers.Tourist saftey is on the bottom of the list for this greedy Country.Stab a tourist and the police fine you 5000 baht.As long as the victims are foreigners nothing will change..Thai’s don’t deserve our tourist dollars.

  • Angry

    If I am not mistaken the fine for the case which farang was stabbed is 500 baht.
    Very sad.

  • The dead can not speak

    i told you that the cause would be perhaps drugs or alcohol since thai bus, van, truck drivers on the road use that frequently.
    But we’re wrong, not captains fault. While the boat was returning safely, SUDDENLY, out of nothing, a big rock appeared in front of the boat and a collision was unavoidable. they should arrest the rock !!!

  • Robert

    Sorry, but that’s not possible, lawyer is specifically one of the professions banned to foreigners. Of course enough money can evade anything here.

  • John Guru

    You think that a farang lawyer in Thailand will be any more capable and non-corruptible than homegrown Thai lawyers? You would trust a farang lawyer in Thailand to put your interests first? Even in some western countries, you would be surprised to know that the percentage of lawyers that end up in gaol exceed any other profession!

  • Robert

    Let me get this right; they were too busy with speed boats to have time to regulate ferries, in other words they are trying to blame this accident on the last one. This is as laughable as the hotel of death in Chiang Mai when the married couple both died in the same bed on the same night by “coincidence.”

    As usual, stupidity and hubris are a deadly combination, and these monkeys have once again chosen to insult the intelligence of the rest of the World rather than accept responsibility for their own incompetence.

    In the Chiang mai incident it took an Australian TV crew posing as tourists to find the truth, this charade is so silly on its face there is no need to disprove it.

  • Baxer

    Do you really think the boats is safer in other parts of Thailand, or anywhere in south east asia? If so, think again.

  • willo

    Yeah, it´s the captains fault not the Ferry company or the Government regulation failure of course. Make sense.