Six people, including three foreign tourists, were killed and 15 other injured as a packed ferry sank off the Thai resort of Pattaya yesterday.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office said there were no reports of any Britons injured in the incident.

“So far there are six dead from the boat,” Pattaya police chief Colonel Suwarn Chiewnawintawat reportedly said, adding three Thais, a Chinese and two other as yet unidentified foreigners were among the dead.

All of the other 150 passengers had been plucked from the sea after the double-decker vessel sank on Sunday afternoon near Koh Larn, a small island close to Pattaya which is popular with day-trippers.

Police said they are investigating the cause of the accident as local media reports blamed an engine problem on the overcrowded ferry for causing passengers to run to one side of the boat, which forced it to list.

Confirming the death toll a second policeman told AFP that the frantic relatives of the passengers alerted local emergency services to the disaster at around 5pm local time (1100 GMT), sparking the rescue effort.