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Two boats carrying more than 140 people flipped when they ran into rough waves in Phuket, Thailand.

The governor of Phuket said strong winds were hampering the search, which began Thursday when the boat-carrying mostly Chinese tourists-was caught in a sudden storm around 4 p.m. while returning to Phuket from a day trip to the nearby island of Koh Racha.

Thailand's navy said early Friday afternoon that nine bodies of Chinese tourists were being brought to Phuket. The reason for the discrepancies was not clear.

Rescue workers respond to the boat accident in Phuket on Thursday night.

The boat was carrying dozens of Chinese tourists when it overturned, with the strong winds brought by the monsoon season bringing adverse weather conditions on the water.

The images also showed survivors being lifted from the rafts and sitting in life jackets amid ropes on the deck of what appears to be a fishing trawler.

A further 10 pleasure boats were stranded at sea and being attended to by rescue vessels from the police and navy while two other separate boat capsizes were reported in the same area this evening.

The second boat, the Serenita, had almost 40 passengers on board, Sophakarn said.

"All agencies are co-operating in their search at this time", Norraphat said.

The Chinese embassy in Bangkok said in a statement that it had requested the Thai government make all-out rescue efforts, and that it had sent a team to Phuket to help.

Thailand is already in the global spotlight for a dramatic rescue mission in the north of the country, after 12 boys and their football coach were trapped in a cave complex.

The search for about 45 more people missing continues. "They have ignored our warnings many times before by departing from ports with tourists into the Andaman Sea while wind and waves are at unsafe level".

Authorities described him as Chinese and 35-40 years of age.


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