By The Nation
The tourists, mostly Chinese and Russians, and the hotel employees arrived on board HTMS Narathiwat at Phuket deep-sea port in Muang district at 10pm.
Vice Adm Somnuek Prempramote, commander of the Third Naval Area, dispatched the ship after the Phuket Harbour Office prohibited small boats from leaving the shore from Tuesday to Thursday because of two to three-metre-high waves, leaving many tourists stranded on Koh Racha.
Somnuek, tourist police, marine police and representatives of tour companies were on hand to receive the tourists, who were then transported to their hotels.
The tourists were grateful for the rescue and thanked Navy officials.
They had spent one to two days on Koh Racha before tourist boats were banned from leaving the shore and had been scheduled to return on Tuesday and Wednesday.