A small Cambodian vessel transporting goods from Thailand to the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port sank yesterday morning after getting caught in choppy waves near Koh Rong, officials in the area said yesterday.
Sea guards stationed on Koh Rong rescued the flooded boat’s six crew members and two passengers, all Cambodian, before it sank, but its cargo was all lost, said Teng Soun, director of the sea border department.
Phol Phosta, deputy police chief in Sihanoukville town, said the five-by-15-metre boat was returning from a port along Thailand’s sea border with Koh Kong province in Cambodia.
The boat stopped to pick up two Koh Rong residents who wanted to travel to the mainland, he said, but after sailing five kilometres from the island, it encountered high, violent waves that caused it to sink at 9am.
“The waves were from one to two meters high, and they hit the vessel continuously, causing it to sink because the driver lacked proper driving techniques,” he said.
He added that the lost goods included utensils, tools and other household items, jelly and seafood, including shrimp, squid and crabs.
The cost of the damage has not yet been determined, he said, adding that government technicians were dredging for the vessel.
None of the victims could be reached for comment yesterday.
According to Phosta, this was the first time this year a vessel had sunk near Koh Rong, which vessels must pass sailing from Thailand to Cambodia.
Last year a boat carrying a cargo of fruit sank near Koh Rong, but none were killed in the accident, he said.
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