NEWS
05/11/2018 14:03 GMT

British Tourists Rescued From Burning Boat After It Was Struck By Lightning

The group took cover below deck when they met the tropical storm off Thailand.

Nine British holidaymakers have been rescued from their burning yacht after it was struck by lightning just off Phuket, Thailand.

The four couples and one woman, from Scotland, were on board the 50ft boat  when they met the tropical storm and attempted to take cover below deck.

Dramatic footage shows part of the chartered vessel, named Emmjay, engulfed in flames with thick black smoke filling the surrounding air on Saturday afternoon.

Luckily, the group escaped unharmed with the help of a passing fishing boat which rescued the crew.

The tourists, a group of experienced sailors, have been named as William Tennant, 65, and Lilias Tennant, 68; Catherine Toy, 64, and Stewart Toy, 66; Kelvin Atkinson, 65, and Susan Atkinson, 64; Anne Anderson, 59, and Martin Anderson, 59; and Margaret Hamilton.

Coastguards attended the scene after police received a mayday call at 5pm local time.

An official said police were looking into the incident.

Marine chief Wiwat Chitchertwong said: “Police were notified at 5pm that there was heavy rain and lightning that struck the boat. This caused a fire.

“People were already sheltering downstairs in the boat to shelter from the rain when the lightning struck.”

Lt Col Brapan Chanprakon said: “There were nine passengers on board and assisted by fishing ships they landed safely. There were no injuries or deaths.

The police department is investigating and speaking with witnesses and the boat owner.”