Officials in Thailand say dozens missing after tourist boat capsizes

The vessel - which was carrying 97 passengers - overturned in the Andaman Sea

Officials in Thailand say dozens missing after tourist boat capsizes

Image: Google Maps

49 people are missing from a tourist boat that capsized in the popular resort of Phuket in Thailand, according to local officials.

Having earlier reported that at least seven people were missing after the vessel - which was carrying 97 passengers - overturned in the Andaman Sea, the governor of the island later significantly upgraded the total.

Governor Norraphat Plodthong revealed that only 48 passengers - all from a group of Chinese tourists - had been rescued so far, with all the others unaccounted for.

He had earlier said that 90 people had been rescued from the boat, which had been returning to Phuket from the island of Koh Racha when it came up against rough waves in the early evening on Thursday.

Local police commander Teerapol Tipcharoen said that the recovery operation was ongoing, and a relief operation centre has been set up at Chalong Bay.

In a separate incident in the same area, another boat carrying 39 people - reportedly Chinese and European tourists - also capsized.

They have all been been returned to land via large rubber life-rafts.

Officials had earlier issued a warning of severe weather until next Tuesday, including heavy rain and strong winds.