Investigators continue to probe the cause of a fire on Ao Nang Princess 5 as Thailand tightens rules on ship safety.
The ferry caught fire on 8 April en route from Krabi to Phuket with 116 passengers on board. All but one, a 12-year-old Israeli girl, was rescued. The number of passengers was within limits.
Preliminary investigations showed there was a fire inside the engine room at the boat’s stern, while rescue appliances were enough for all passengers and in a ready-to-use condition, including life jackets and extinguishers, Voradej Harnprasert, a deputy permanent secretary for transport, told reporters.
However, the fire has prompted the Thai Transport Department to enforce stricter maritime safety measures, a number of news outlets reported.
The new laws would apply to all passengers of boats operating at sea as well as rivers, and stipulates that all passengers must wear life jackets during the whole trip. Otherwise, the boats are not allowed to go offshore and boat operators will be prosecuted.
The news comes as Marine Police moved quickly to help 426 passengers stranded at sea when a Malaysian vessel ran aground in Southern Thailand on April 19.