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Full Moon Revellers Perish In Tragic Accident

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Saturday, January 29, 2005
Four Brits, three Americans and two Australians were amongst at least fifteen people who drowned in Thailand this week, when a speedboat ferrying them from Koh Phangan's Full Moon Party back to Koh Samui capsized.

According to press reports the heavily overcrowded speedboat was carrying 50 or so passengers when it capsized close to Samui, trapping many victims underneath.

"The driver made a sharp left turn and we flipped. Nobody was wearing lifejackets. We were dragged down," American Lee Feldman told the Mirror. "People were urging, "Stay calm, get out slowly', but there was pandemonium as people realised they were drowning."

Reports in the Bangkok Post said cops are investigating whether the accident was caused by an additional engine, added illegally, which allowed the speedboat to go faster than it should have done.

A letter in the same highly influential paper also raised ominous questions about the beach raves themselves, labelling them "all-night alcohol- and drug-fuelled parties'.

"What has emerged so far is that the boat was overcrowded, no one was wearing life jackets and, most relevantly, a large number of those on board were drunk and/or stoned out of their heads, including the boat driver," wrote "Beachcomber'.

"How, one wonders, does the known existence of these parties square with Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's nationwide war on drugs and his government's tough policy and measures to stamp out the drug trade-"

The latest tragedy came less than a month after the East Coast islands escaped the devastation of the Tsunami and less than a year after three Thai men were shot dead at the beach party, reportedly following a row over a girl.