Waterspout tornado forms as cargo ship sails past in Thailand

Video: https://www.dropbox.com/s/iy1s4x9qm0o3ktw/VRP62184.mp4?dl=0

This is the terrifying moment a waterspout formed next to a ship as it sailed through the Gulf of Thailand.

Water was seen swirling with the wind around five metres away from the cargo vessel as dark clouds loomed off the coast of Pattani province on September 6.

In under a minute, the swirl grew bigger and moved into the water near the ship as the shocked crew watched from the deck.

Crew member Noppadol Rachyucha said: ‘I was excited. I don’t see it often, this time I can see it moving really close. At the same time it was also terrifying.

‘It started to rain when we were at a safe distance from the waterspout. We were relieved that there were no choppy sease.’

No one was reported hurt nor damaged during the encounter. The ship continued sailing and reached its destination safely.

Waterspouts are intense columns of swirling tornado clouds that form over a body of water. They are most commonly found in subtropical areas and disappear shortly after they come into contact with land.

They are formed when pockets of warm air near the water surface rise suddenly. Cooler air is then sucked into the low-pressure air, which picks up water and rises towards the clouds in a rotating motion.