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Passengers return to Phuket's Chalong pier after an eventful boat trip

Boatload of Phuket-Phi Phi Tourists Picked Up After Pump Fails

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The boat involved in last night's pick-up was towed back to Phuket where it arrived at the shipyard at 6.45am to be checked for damage. ''We will be talking to other media about the false reports that the boat capsized,'' a tour business spokesman said today. ''We sat around having pizza and beer with passengers last night. Six of them are heading back out today.''

Original Report

PHUKET: The Navy and Marine Police combined tonight to assist a boatload of dive tourists back to Phuket after a pump on board the boat failed and the vessel began to take on water.

Reports said that 27 people were on the boat, which had been returning to Phuket from a day's outing to Phi Phi when it began taking water.

A spokesman for the tour company said tonight that assistance had been requested ''as a precaution.''

''There was no danger - safety is always one of our priorities - and the owner of the boat is still on board. The owner says it is not in danger of sinking.''

The boat hove to in the lee of an island once it began taking on water too fast. A fishing boat pulled alongside the vessel until the vessel manned by the Navy and Marine Police arrived, the Phuket tour company spokesperson said.

Phuket's last disaster at sea came in March 2009 when a sudden storm overturned the two-tiered Dive Asia 1 as it returned to Phuket from the Similans.

Six tourists and a Thai cook drowned and 23 survivors eventually used a passing fisherman's mobile telephone to call in their own rescuers.
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Comments have been disabled for this article.


They had no business going out to sea at all in this weather. The meteorological dept warns vessels not to go to sea! The weather looked good this morning, yes, but changed back to nasty monsoon again. This is again taking money interest before safety issues. Sad but true in Phuket. I have postponed my Coral Island trip and my customers are happy that we could do that.

Posted by Hockey on July 14, 2011 23:01


Kontiki says, ...emotions guarantee ! and it's true, they don't lie to us ! We all suddenly dream that we were Di Caprio on the Titanic ! what a wonderfull experience for all of us ! Thank you Kontiki, we will come again !

Posted by gravity on July 15, 2011 08:25


This was the upteenth breakdown this boat experienced in a short period of time. In a boat like that going out in the weather they experienced was asking for problems.

Money talks, the boat is rented out cheaply, so there will always be somebody using it. I'm sure the boat will be available for rent in a few days.

Posted by stevenl on July 15, 2011 09:55


Is it coincidence? This is the same dive operator that also had a fatality out on Ko Raja Noi two months ago, the boat had to be towed back from Ko Raja Yai two weeks ago, and now this incident!

Posted by Archie on July 15, 2011 12:26


Certainly it is coincidence. The fatality was on a different boat, had absolutely nothing to do with the operator AFAIK and the gearbox failure two weeks ago had nothing to do with yesterday's events. The gear box worked flawlessly yesterday.

The weather, contrary to earlier weather reports, turned pretty rough at moment's notice yesterday.

So why the need to spread misinformation and propaganda?

Could there perhaps be a somewhat unethical agenda at work in the cutthroat "dog-eat-dog"-world of Phuket diving? That is very short-sighted.

Guests were in no danger yesterday, and the whole "for-safety's sake" evacutation was performed flawlessly. The ship is now in the shipyard.

The truth is somewhat less dramatic than some accounts in media (not everyone has reported as accurately and diligently as Phuket Wan) but I guess some guys will have their day ...

Posted by Kjell on July 15, 2011 13:08


Kjell is also the name of the owner of the involved boat.

Posted by stevenl on July 15, 2011 14:05


Boy, I'm glad this article clears it all up. You should have seen the breaking news at 11 pm last night on Channel 7, they made as if it was the Titanic sinking with ambulances and police and navy all around. And that long focus on the poor guy in the ambulance wrapping his FINGER with gauze. You would have thought someone died, when the most serious injury was a cut, on a finger.

Posted by May on July 15, 2011 15:09


Should a boat that relies on a single bilge pump to stay afloat be considered seaworthy ??

Posted by soupdragon on July 15, 2011 16:20


Boats are not made to take on water and bilge(s) pumps are back up and should also always have a manual safety. If the boat takes on water, then it shouldn't go to sea in any conditions. Thai pumps run pumps continuously as they continuously take on water. No wonder it failed.

Posted by The Insider on July 15, 2011 17:58


Steven, coincidence re. my name? Of course not. It obviously hasn't occurred to you that I have nothing to hide and that nobody on the boat on Thursday has anything to be ashamed of. Quite the reverse, in fact.

Now, neither you nor any of the other posters spreading negativity here were on the boat on Thursday. I was. I know full well what happened and tomorrow I finally have the time to set the record straight within the business.

Meanwhile, it is Lent, and I have been very busy the last two days, including assisting in setting up merit-making for the excellent crew of the fishing boat who were so helpful. I have neither the time nor the inclination to banter on the internet.

You know who I am. If you have any beef you're welcome to my shop and I promise to have a civilized, adult discussion with you. I have no time for the childish politics prevalent among some farang in the dive business here.

I will say this: The Royal Thai Navy, the Royal Thai Police and all the Services together with many great individuals at dive centers all over Phuket have been absolutely superb, and all Thais can be very proud of them.

But a board where some individuals exhibit a fair bit of "jai dam" is hardly the right forum to thank them. I'm glad Phuket Wan has set the record straight and will not participate in silly games with people who really should know better, and who in many cases actually are professionally required to get the facts before they engage in slander and maliciousness.

Elvis has left the building. Over and out.

Posted by Kjell on July 16, 2011 19:34



Posted by Whistle-Blower on July 17, 2011 10:29

Editor Comment:

My apologies for the moderation, Whistleblower. We've removed the particular post that you responded to because even the edited version was considered too personal and offensive. Readers who do not have a vested interest in the dive industry can see there are serious differences of opinions. To all prospective commenters, any comments should be about principles, not personalities, please.

Monday June 24, 2024
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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