A small tourist boat capsized a short distance off the coast of Koh Rong island yesterday, killing a 39-year-old Cambodian woman who drowned about 20 metres from the dock, authorities said.
Strong waves overturned the boat carrying 13 passengers, including 39-year-old Hem Lom, of Ratanakiri province’s Lumphat district, who drowned, said Security Director of Koh Rong island military police Loek Nan.
“The boat was about to capsize and suddenly, the victim, wearing no life jacket, slid into the water and the wave hit her,” Nan said.
Koh Rong commune chief Seng Huorleang attributed the capsizing of the boat to a “natural storm” and the “carelessness of the victim,” not the boat operator. The owner of the boat, Van Lykong, could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Tang Sochet Kroesna, the head of tourist department of Preah Sihanouk province, urged boat operators and tourists to pay attention to safety.
“Travellers should prioritize their personal safety by demanding the boat owner to offer them life jackets, and they have to wear life jackets properly before setting off for islands,” he said.