1 dead in Thai boat mishap; all survive Cambodia accident

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PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Police said they have rescued six Chinese tourists and two Cambodians after their speedboat sank in rough waters on the way to celebrate the Lunar New Year on a popular island. The rescue came a day after a Chinese tourist died in a similar boat accident in neighboring Thailand.

Sihanoukville police chief Gen. Chuon Narin said the Cambodian boat overturned after being hit by strong waves on Monday about 18 kilometers (12 miles) from the coast.

He said the Chinese had rented the boat to visit Koh Rong island even though authorities had banned all sea traffic including fishing boats because of bad weather.

Koh Rong is regarded as the most beautiful Cambodian island because of its white sand beaches and virgin forests. Located in the Gulf of Thailand, it is close to Sihanoukville, 240 kilometers (150 miles) southwest of Phnom Penh.

In neighboring Thailand, strong waves took the life of a 64-year-old female Chinese tourist, Thai media reported.

Thai PBS public television quoted police as saying the accident occurred Sunday afternoon in the Andaman Sea off popular Phi Phi island when a boat carrying a Chinese family of four adults and two children was capsized by a big wave in rough waters, causing the woman to drown and injuring the five other passengers.

It quoted an official from the national park on the island as saying that a warning had been issued for small boats not to take to sea because of high winds and choppy water.

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