Tourist boats collide in Thailand

Some 40 people have been injured
after two boats carrying tourists collided in the Gulf of Thailand.

They overturned a few kilometres
out to sea while ferrying people to and from a party on Koh Pha Ngan island
beach, throwing many revellers into the water.

At least two other people were said
to be missing in the collision, which happened close to Koh Samui island.

The monthly event held on full-moon
nights is well-known among party-goers, attracting thousands of tourists.

Ellie Hocken, 19, from the UK,
survived the crash after being thrown off deck into the sea.

She is in hospital with a fractured
back. Her father, Dr David Hocken told the BBC she was “still terrified
even now”.

“When the crash happened, she
was on the top deck of the boat. The sea was very rough. Suddenly someone
screamed ‘They’re going to hit us’,” he said.

“They tried to alert the
captain but there was no time. There was a huge smash and everyone was thrown
overboard. Ellie blacked out and when she woke up, she was alone in the water.

“She saw a boat and managed to
swim to it and climb aboard. There were people being resuscitated and someone
with an arm torn off. She was put on a stretcher and taken to hospital. Scans
show she has a fractured back.”

The boats collided late on
Saturday, throwing passengers into rough waters just off the island, The Nation
newspaper website said.

At least one other Briton and four
Australians were said to be among the injured, as well as other foreign tourists.

Every month, it is estimated up to
25,000 revellers descend on Koh Pha Ngan for the all-night beach rave.

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