Thailand compensates boat victims


PHUKET, 12 July 2018: Thailand will pay an estimated THB63.96 million in compensation,  to cover damages and loss of life after two tourist boats capsized in heavy seas off the coast of Phuket, last week.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand posted compensation details on its online Newsdesk, Wednesday.

The newsdesk report on compensation was based on an estimate that up to 56 people may have perished when the tourist boat, Phoenix, carrying 101 passengers, of whom 87 were Chinese tourists, capsized 5 July.

A second tourist boat, identified as the Serenita, also capsized in the same storm with 42 people on board, but without any fatalities.

Both boats were carrying 127 Chinese tourists before they capsized and sank. The Thai captains have been charged with negligence.

However, 46 bodies have so far been recovered and possible one more still remains trapped in the capsized Phoenix hull.

The total THB63.96 million in compensation, sourced from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports’ Foreign Tourists Assistance Fund Committee, is a financial estimate of what could ultimately be paid out to families of victims and the injured.

It breaks down into loss-of-life compensation for the families of an estimated 56 victims, at THB1 million each, totalling THB56 million.

Financial support for medical payments of up to THB500,000 each for 10 injured tourists, totalling THB5 million.

Financial support for mental rehabilitation of THB20,000 each for 74 distraught tourists, totalling THB1.48 million.

Financial support for loss, or damage, caused by trip cancellations of THB20,000 each for 74 distraught tourists, totalling THB1.48 million.

Financial support from the Ministry does not include insurance settlements against the policies taken out by boat operators and tour companies linked to the Phoenix and Serenita tourist boats both of which sank.

Under the insurance policies taken out by TC Blue Dream Co, owner of the Phoenix and by Lazy Cat Travel (Serenita owner) financial compensation covers loss-of- life and medical expenses.

For loss-of-life, the relatives of the victims will receive THB1 million each under the boat’s travel insurance policy and another THB100,000 each under the boat passenger insurance policy, totalling THB1.1 million for each victim.

Medical expenses are also covered for up to THB500,000 each under the Phoenix and Serenita travel insurance policies and up to THB15,000  under the boat passenger insurance policy totalling THB515,000 Baht for each injured passenger.

In addition, the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA) is providing transport support with a fleet of 30 vehicles for families of the victims and those injured and distressed.

The Thai Hotels Association (THA) Southern Chapter provides support accommodation valued at 500 room nights provided by 50 hotels for families and relatives of the victims.

Travellers to Phuket should be aware that the monsoon season, July to October, is often incorrectly termed ‘green season’ by promoters and influencers. The southwest monsoon season brings with it strong winds, rainstorms and heavy seas that make sailing and leisure boat excursions risky. Travellers should check the Thailand Meteorological Department website for weather alerts before booking boat services and also check local media for updates on specific weather alerts.

Duty of care starts with tour operators alerting their clients to risks and also extends to boat owners who are required by law to comply with weather alerts issued by authorities.

Most of Phuket’s leisure boat fleet remained at anchor following the 5 July storm warning.



  1. Time to seriously investigate the paper trail of ownership of these unseaworthy boats. Clearly there are Thai nominees for actual Chinese owners. Also, the behaviour of the Thai crews has to be investigated. Did they abandon ship before helping the passengers?

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