Boat which sank in Thailand, killing 47 tourists on board 'not up to standard' - police

Thai police say investigations found that a boat that sank in rough weather killing 47 Chinese tourists in July was not up to regulatory standards.

Immigration police chief Major General Surachate Hakparn told reporters yesterday that a police investigation and an inspection of the Phoenix's blueprints revealed that the boat was "not at all up to standard."

He said the boat had only one watertight door instead of the recommended four, and that it did not have "marine windows" that could be broken open in case of emergencies.

The sinking of the double-decker Phoenix on July 5 was one of Thailand's worst tourism-related disasters in recent years.

Five people have been charged so far, including the owner and two operators of the Phoenix.

They have been accused of negligence causing death, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

Officials said other people are also under investigation including some at the company that built the boat and other officials.

Surachate said police will produce a more detailed report on its investigation next week and added that experts from China and Germany also helped examine the Phoenix's structure.

The Phoenix was raised from the 45-metre-deep sea floor on November 17 by a crane ship operated by a salvage company from Singapore.

It is now covered in brown algae and sludge and docked on a pier in the southern resort island of Phuket where it initially sank.

Thai police said the boat fell short of regulatory standards when it sank in July, Source: Associated Press