Just before a scuba-diving boat sinks into the ocean — passengers jumping for their lives just inches above waves crashing around them — someone aboard the boat that rescued all the passengers caught the dramatic moments on video.
The incident occurred Wednesday on the Andaman Sea near Koh Tachai, a small island off the west coast of Thailand that’s popular for divers, according to The Phuket News.
A Swedish daily newspaper Aftonbladet also covered the incident, based on reports from a Swedish dive instructor who was aboard Peter Pan, the vessel that rescued the passengers from the doomed boat, Aladdin, after it issued a distress call.
There are no reports on how many passengers were aboard the Phuket-based dive boat before it sank, but reports indicate that it began taking on water around noon and was going down so fast that passengers had to leap for their lives, many of them having no time to put on life jackets, The Phuket News said, as passengers aboard Peter Pan are heard screaming.
“It was just a coincidence that our boat was there and could come to the rescue,” the Aftonbladet quoted dive instructor Dennis Karlsson as saying, translated by The Phuket News. “It was really, really serious. It took on a lot of water.”
As the Aladdin capsized and began disappearing beneath the waves, “people threw themselves headlong into the water,” Karlsson told the Aftonbladet. “Some were sucked under the water with the boat before they resurfaced and were pulled out. It was really amazing that everyone survived.”
No one was seriously hurt, according to The Phuket News.
Karlsson, 46, works as a diving instructor semiannually in Thailand and said it’s his understanding that the Aladdin ran something in the water which was then rammed into the hull by the propeller.
He told Aftonbladet that Aladdin passengers mentioned they were on a four-day dive trip in the Andaman Sea. Several Aladdin passengers were Nordic, Karlsson said.