Missing Divers in Thailand
Created: 2009-03-09 18:56 EST
The Thai navy is searching for six foreign tourists missing at sea after their boat sank in heavy seas near the southern resort island of Phuket.
A Thai crewman is also unaccounted for.
The boat, carrying 30 people on board, lost contact on its return from a well-known dive site off the Similan islands on Sunday night.
The tour company alerted the authorities when it failed to return to port.
Naval and police vessels searching the area found 23 people drifting on a life raft, 19 kilometres (12 miles) off the coast.
They included the boat's skipper.
[Chatree Leechuay, Boat Captain]:
"It was very stormy last night and the waves were very big."
The missing include two Swiss, two Austrians, a German and a Japanese.
Naval and police boats, backed by helicopters, are scouring the seas for the missing passengers and crewman.
Phuket is Thailand's biggest island, and one of the kingdom's top tourist resorts, attracting scuba divers from around the world.