Catamaran With 29 People, Mostly Foreign Tourists, Capsizes Near Dongtan Beach, Only Minor Injuries Reported

Pattaya, Thailand-

A catamaran carrying 29 people, the majority being foreign tourists, capsized this evening, December 23rd, 2023, near Dongtan Beach after coming from Koh Larn near sunset. There were six minor injuries.

The incident took place around 6:00 P.M. and rescue teams from the nearby Marine Rescue Department and Sawang Boriboon were quickly notified of the capsized vessel. Jet ski and boat operators in the area also quickly responded to rescue passengers and crew floating in the sea. All were wearing life jackets.

A passenger, Adisorn Wannabut, 28, told The Pattaya News team that the boat had been coming from Koh Larn for a sunset cruise during relatively strong winds and waves. Suddenly, the boat tilted down and water began to overflow into the hull, eventually causing the boat to capsize and end up on its side. The captain responded quickly, said Adisorn, sending a distress signal and making sure everyone’s life jacket was on properly. The vessel did not sink and relevant agencies are looking to salvage the boat to shore as of press time. The passengers were quickly rescued as the incident took place not far from the Marine Department sea rescue station located near Pratumnak Soi 5.

Pattaya police and tourist police reported that a total of 29 people, 25 of them being foreign tourists and the rest being Thais, were on the catamaran at the time of the incident. The boat had one crew member, the captain. Six people had minor injuries and were brought to a local hospital for an examination, the majority of passengers were shocked and shaken but not injured, with officials praising the quick response of the captain and making sure everyone was wearing life jackets for helping to avoid a bigger disaster.

The captain, Sompot Pomthong, 56, was brought to the Pattaya police station for a standard interview and to determine if the boat had been properly licensed and undergone legal recent safety inspections. No legal charges, however, had been issued against Sompot as of press time.

Sompot stated to The Pattaya News reporters that the cause of the incident was indeed a sudden wave that struck the left side of the catamaran, causing it to tilt suddenly and eventually turn over onto its side from water rushing into the boat. The captain added that mounts on both sides of the vessel broke loose, contributing to the incident. He also said his main focus when the accident took place was the safety of the tourists, making sure everyone’s life jacket was secured properly and calling for immediate assistance.

The boat will likely be brought to shore for an inspection over the weekend, added the Pattaya Marine Department.

The catamaran before the capsizing
Adam Judd
Mr. Adam Judd is the Co-owner of TPN Media since December 2017. He is originally from Washington D.C., America, but has also lived in Dallas, Sarasota, and Portsmouth. His background is in retail sales, HR, and operations management, and has written about news and Thailand for many years. He has lived in Pattaya for over nine years as a full-time resident, is well known locally and been visiting the country as a regular visitor for over a decade. His full contact information, including office contact information, can be found on our Contact Us page below. Stories please e-mail About Us: Contact Us: