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Six people die as tourist boat sinks off Thai resort

At least six people, including two Russians and a Chinese tourist, are dead after a ferry sank near the tourist resort of Pattaya.

PattayaferryEnlarge
Thai rescue personnel administer first aid and perform CPR to injured foreign tourists after a ferry sank off the coast in Pattaya on November 3, 2013. At least six passengers including three foreigners died after a tourist ferry sank off the Thai resort of Pattaya, police said. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Rescuers are searching for more survivors after an overcrowded ferry sank near the Thai resort of Pattaya, killing at least six people.

Police said among the dead were three Thai, two Russians and a Chinese tourist.

Police Col. Suwan Cheawnavinthavat told the Associated Press that roughly  200 Thai and foreign tourists were on a double-decker ferry that left Lan island for the 30-minute trip to the resort town of Pattaya on Sunday.

The ferry started having engine trouble during the trip and passengers rushed to the top deck, causing the ferry to flip over and eventually sink.

The ferry went down on Sunday afternoon near the small island of Koh Larn, an area popular with day trippers and tourists.

"Witnesses said there were neither enough tubes nor life vests on the ferry. Some of those who cannot swim had to cling onto coolers or ice containers until rescuers came," Col Suwan was quoted by the AP as saying.

Russian media reported that a third Russian, a 9-year-old boy, was hospitalized in critical condition.

Pattaya is one of Thailand's most popular tourist destinations, particularly among Russians, with its abundance of cheap accommodation and racy nightlife.

Witness Olga Blinova told RT news agency that she and her family were on the next ferry to depart for Pattaya when they came upon the wreckage.

"This was really terrifying! Shoes, stuff floating around," Olga said. "My husband and other people rescued one woman. She was the last one remaining in the water."

Police are hoping to question the ferry captain about the cause of the accident.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/131103/six-people-die-tourist-boat-sinks-thai-resort