Brighton Artist Missing After Dive Boat Capsized in Thailand

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brighton artist missing after dive boat capsized in thailand

A Brighton-based artist is feared dead after her dive boat capsized in rough seas off the coast of Thailand on Christmas Eve.

Millie Young, 28, was one of the 12 passengers and crew on board the MV Kingfisher, a dive boat that was returning from a trip to the Similan Islands, a popular diving destination in the Andaman Sea.

According to the Thai authorities, the boat encountered strong winds and waves, and flipped over at around 4 p.m. on Friday, about 40 miles from the mainland. The boat’s captain and two crew members managed to swim to a nearby fishing boat and raise the alarm, while the rest of the passengers were thrown into the water.

A search and rescue operation was launched, involving the Thai navy, coast guard, police, and local fishermen. A life raft with six people on board was found on Saturday morning, about 12 miles from the capsized boat. The survivors, who included four British tourists, a German, and a Thai, were taken to a hospital in Phang Nga province for treatment. They suffered from dehydration, hypothermia, and minor injuries.

However, there was no sign of Millie or the other five missing passengers, who were identified as two Americans, a Canadian, a French, and a Thai. The search was hampered by bad weather and poor visibility, and was suspended on Saturday night due to darkness. It resumed on Sunday morning, but the chances of finding any more survivors were slim.

Millie’s family and friends have been desperately waiting for any news of her fate, and have been posting messages of hope and support on social media. Millie, who was a talented painter and illustrator, had been travelling in Thailand for the past two months, and had been sharing her adventures and artworks on her Instagram account, which had over 10,000 followers. Her last post, dated December 23, showed a picture of her diving gear and a caption that read: “Off to the Similan Islands tomorrow for three days of diving. Can’t wait to see what’s under the sea.”

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Millie’s mother, Jane Young, who lives in Brighton, said she was “devastated” by the news of the accident, and was praying for a miracle. She said Millie was a “beautiful, kind, and adventurous” daughter, who loved travelling and exploring new places. She said Millie had been looking forward to spending Christmas with her boyfriend, Tom, who was also in Thailand, but had not joined her on the dive trip.

Millie’s friends and fellow artists have also paid tribute to her, describing her as a “wonderful, creative, and inspiring” person, who had a “passionate and positive” outlook on life. They said they hoped that she was still alive, and that she would be found soon.

The British Embassy in Bangkok said it was providing consular assistance to the British nationals involved in the incident, and was in contact with the Thai authorities. The embassy also advised British travellers to check the weather conditions and safety standards before booking any boat trips in Thailand, especially during the monsoon season.

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