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The wreck of a sunken ship is being turned into a coral reef off Phuket

Phuket Sinking Creates Coral Dive Site

Tuesday, September 8, 2015
PHUKET: Part of a cargo ship that sank off Phuket is being used to create a new artificial coral reef that authorities hope will eventually become a dive site for marine tourists.

The 10-metre bow section of the cargo ship that threatened an environmental disaster off Koh Hey in July has been carried by balloon tanks to a spot 400 metres off the east coast of Koh Racha where it lies at a depth of 30 metres, Phuket's Director of Marine and Coastal resources, Thanet Mannoi, told Phuketwan yesterday.

''We are glad to have something good come from a sinking that sparked so many fears,'' he said.

The rest of the 68-metre Cambodian-registered Sinaran Andaman has been carted off for scrap.

Officials now hope the result of the sinking will eventually be a new dive site in a part of the region that for now boasts no coral.

Artificial plantings have not always succeeded off Phuket. Several years ago, obsolete aircraft were sunk off the island but the tides carried them away.

The remnant of the 792-tonne cargo vessel may prove more difficult to shift, given its weight.

Work on creating the artificial reef has already begun, with divers pulling a motorscooter from the wreckage.

The sinking on July 8 triggered the dramatic, safe rescue of all the crew by the Royal Thai Navy and Marine Police.

The vessel's Indonesian captain told Phuketwan later in an exclusive interview that he tried to drop anchor as a fierce monsoon storm lashed the ship but the anchor chain wasn't long enough for the anchor to reach the bottom.

The vessel's last voyage ended on rocks off Koh Hey, another popular day-trip tourist destination - in good weather.

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"Work on creating the artificial reef has already begun, with divers pulling a motorscooter from the wreckage. "
That Honda Scoopy was put down there some time ago already, nothing to do with this new wrecksite.

Posted by stevenl on September 8, 2015 10:41


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