The Latest: China urges Thailand to step up boat rescue

The Latest on a boat capsizing in Thailand (all times local):

2:30 p.m.

The Chinese foreign ministry has urged Thailand's government to step up its efforts to rescue any survivors from the sinking of a tour boat off a southern island in the Southeast Asian nation.

Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters at a regular briefing that Beijing has asked Thailand to "expand the scope for rescue and to mobilize various forces to join in the efforts."

Hua said Thailand has assured Beijing it will not stop the search until all the Chinese tourists are found.

The double-decker Phoenix capsized and sank late Thursday afternoon after it was hit by 5-meter (16-foot) waves in one of Thailand's worst tourism-related disasters since the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed thousands.


1 p.m.

China is warning its people to be careful during water-based activities when traveling abroad after a fatal boat capsizing in Thailand.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism said Monday that travelers should closely monitor weather and sea conditions and obey all warnings.

The notice carried in local newspapers and websites did not specifically mention Thailand but said some cruise companies exercised lax management and maintained inadequate safety measures.

The boat that capsized during a storm off Phuket last Thursday killed at least 42 people with 10 still missing. Most passengers were Chinese.

Chinese accounted for slightly under one-third of the 35.38 million tourists who visited Thailand last year.


11:30 a.m.

Thai authorities say five people reported to have been missing from a boat that sank off the southern resort island of Phuket last week are alive.

It's not clear if the five survived the sinking or never got on the boat.

Phuket Gov. Norrapat Plodthong says authorities are trying to verify details and some of the five may have left Thailand.

Norrapat also said Monday the boat that sank in a storm Thursday afternoon carried 89 tourists, mostly Chinese, instead of 93.

He said 10 people are now missing, instead of the previous figure of 14, including the five people believed to have survived. The death toll remains at 42.

He said the revised numbers of tourists and the missing followed new information from Thai immigration and the Chinese Embassy.