A ferry carrying passengers from Ko Larn to Pattaya capsized yesterday evening. Local reports say at least 6 people have died and dozens are being treated in hospital. The double-decker boat ran into engine problems whilst bringing passengers back to Pattaya from nearby Ko Larn (also known as Coral Island). With water pumps not working and the ferry beginning to take on water, witnesses said passengers surged to the upper deck. The boat capsized just a few hundred metres from its final destination of Bali Hai pier in Pattaya. Initial reports state there weren’t enough life-jackets because the boat was overcrowded and carrying at least 200 people despite having a capacity of 150.
This latest boat accident in Thailand will again call into question safety standards on Thai boats and ferries with Pattaya once more coming under the spotlight. In August 2013, two people were killed when a speedboat bringing Chinese tourists from Ko Larn to Pattaya crashed into an anchored boat at Bali Hai pier.