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10 July 2018, 04:20 | Darnell Patrick
The governor said search and rescue operations had also roped in the services of helicopters and Royal Thai Navy vessels to scour waters near Phuket Island.
The dead were found drifting facedown in the water, still wearing life jackets, several kilometers from where the Phoenix sank after being hit by 5m-high waves in a storm on Thursday evening.
"The mission will go on", he added.
He said that another boat sank off Koh Hae, 10 kilometres south of Phuket, while a yacht carrying other Chinese nationals also sank off Koh Mai Ton, 9 kilometres south-east of Phuket, Somsak said.
The vessel "Phoenix" was carrying 105 passengers, mostly Chinese tourists, Police Lt. Colonel Somsak Sophakarn told CNN.
"The skies were clear when we went out, we had no idea the weather could change so fast", AFP quoted one of the survivors, Wu Jun, 28, as saying from the hospital bedside of his wife Long Hai Ning.
The pair, who were on their honeymoon, were on different decks as the boat started to list, but both managed to escape.
Entremont said those going down are specially trained to dive at depth - the boat has sunk to about 47 meters.
Thai rescue personnel carry a body bag bearing the recovered body of a passenger from a capsized tourist boat at Chalong pier in Phuket on July 6, 2018.
Many tour operators have complained about lax enforcement of basic safety measures, such as seatbelts in cars and lifejackets on boats.More than 20 people were killed when a tourist boat carrying 150 people capsized in Thailand's ancient city of Ayutthaya in 2016.
According to the Chinese Consulate-General in Songkhla, 78 Chinese tourists have been rescued following the tragic accident.
On Sunday, the Chinese ambassador to Thailand said in a briefing that investigators would also arrive to probe the cause of the accident. It quoted the envoy calling on Thailand to quickly mobilize an intensive search for the missing and "to tend and make appropriate arrangements for the rescued Chinese tourists, treat and cure the injured and receive family members of the Chinese tourists involved".
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