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A Marine Police boat with volunteers and five victims returns to Phuket

'Body of Missing Cook' Found at Sea

Friday, March 13, 2009
Phuketwan Update

A BODY, believed to be Thai cook Jumpa Sorntat, has been recovered by the marine police and is now being brought back to Phuket. The body was spotted about 2.30pm today by a Royal Thai Navy helicopter. Marine police picked up the body about 6.20pm. Officers believe it is Khun Jumpa because of the shorts he was wearing. Positive identification is likely to be made tomorrow by his family at Vachira Hospital in Phuket City. The body was found about 50 kilometres directly out to sea from Mai Khao beach and Phuket Airport. MV Dive Asia 1 rests on the ocean bottom about 20 kilometres off Patong.

Earlier Report

DIVERS were making a final trip today to the MV Dive Asia 1 on the ocean bed to make certain that the remaining missing victim of Sunday's sinking is not on board.

Thai cook Jumpa Sorntat told the captain as the storm hit the boat: ''I love this boat, I want to stay here.'' Then he went inside the boat.

The captain, Chatree Leechoi, turned his attention to the other crew and passengers who were scrambling for their lives.

It is understood that some cabins on the sunken vessel have yet to be opened, Marine Police deputy superintendent Lieutenant Colonel Prasert Srikhoonrat told Phuketwan today.

Seven people were lost and six bodies have since been recovered, five found yesterday entombed in the dive boat's wreck.

One of the technical divers making the descent that only highly trained specialist divers can make to 71 metres is Swiss and said to have been a friend since childhood of the two Swiss who died in the storm.

Marine Police also plan a surface search today by boat to look for Khun Jumpa. It will be the final day of searching, he said.

Officials at Vachira Hospital in Phuket City today said the father of Japanese victim Yuba Hirotsuga had identified his son's body.

But hospital officials plan to make absolutely certain by checking DNA with his mother.

Doctors have now positively identified all found victims.

It is believed that the husband of Gabrielle Jetzinger, 52, one of three Austrian victims, may yet come back to retire in Phuket. Both were dentists.

Sinking of the MV Dive Asia 1


March 4
Dive boat MV Dive Asia 1 with 19 tourists and 11 crew aboard leaves Chalong pier for a five-night liveaboard trip to the Similan Islands.

March 8
4.30pm A boat carrying three men capsizes in a storm off Phuket's south shore. Two men, Jidtapon Taveeworaparsert and Sittichai Tanadpirom, swim to safety on Koh Bon and alert the authorities that Atakorn Jaiboon is missing.
10pm The MV Dive Asia 1 departs from the Similans in calm seas to return to Phuket.
11pm A savage squall strikes and passengers on board are thrown into the water without warning. The boat capsizes and sinks within minutes. Twenty-three people scramble into inflatable life rafts and drift with the dinghies tied together through the night.

March 9
8am Dive Asia staff arrive to Chalong pier to meet the boat that was due back to shore between 2am and 4am and are unable to find it. They alert Royal Thai Navy that the boat is missing.
noon Survivors are plucked from the water by a fishing boat, all essentially intact.
2pm A Marine Police boat intercepts the fishing boat and survivors are taken aboard. Calls between rescue personnel and Dive Asia confirm that seven people, six tourists and a Thai staffer, are missing.
4.05pm The Marine Police boat arrives back to Phuket's Deep Sea Port and the 23 survivors are debriefed and taken for treatment of sunburns and minor injuries.
4.35pm A Navy helicopter spots a body floating on the surface of the water. Officers in the helicopter give the coordinates to Marine Police, but only a life jacket is found.
6.30 pm The sunken boat is located by sonar by Navy boat "Pahruhat" off Phuket, at a depth of 71 metres.

March 10
6am Search vessels resume the hunt for more possible survivors.
7am A body is seen on the water from the Navy helicopter and recovered by Marine Police about four kilometres away from the previous sighting.
1pm The recovery boat arrives back to the Deep Sea Port of Phuket and the body is transferred to Vachira Hospital, where it is identified as Austrian tourist Gabrielle Jetzinger.
The body of Atakorn Jaiboon, who was aboard the small boat off Rawai with two others, is found by rescue officials.

March 11
Noon Four specially-trained technical divers descend to the sunken boat in search of the missing.
4.10 pm Divers report that four bodies are found inside the wreck of the MV Dive Asia 1 on the floor of the ocean off Phuket. Positional records lead police to conclude that the bodies are those of two Austrians and two Swiss. Two men, a Thai staffer and Japanese tourist, remain missing.

March 12
11.05am Technical divers begin their descent to the sunken boat to recover four bodies and to search for the two still missing.
12.25pm Five bodies are recovered and taken back to Phuket for identification.

Phuketwan Dive Boat File


Boat Sinking Update: Five Bodies Recovered
Boat Sinking Latest Divers have recovered five bodies from inside the sunken MV Dive Asia 1. They have been transported back to Phuket for identification.
Boat Sinking Update: Five Bodies Recovered

Latest: Divers Find Boat Four in Seabed 'Tomb'
Dive Sinking Latest Four of the seven missing dive boat victims have been found still in the boat on the ocean bottom off Phuket. They are believed to be two Austrians and two Swiss.
Latest: Divers Find Boat Four in Seabed 'Tomb'

One Body Found: Search For Survivors Continues
Search Latest One body has been found and six are still missing after a dive boat sank in a savage storm between the Similan islands and Phuket. Navy and marine police boats are scouring the seas.
First Light Sees Search for Survivors Resume

Nightmare at Sea: How a Dive Boat Disappeared
The Boat Vanishes Long a Phuket resident, Jurgen Schenker of Dive Asia grew concerned when a dive boat failed to return to Chalong pier. Here is his first hand account of what happened.
Nightmare at Sea: How a Dive Boat Disappeared

Squall Tipped Boat Without Warning: Survivor
Dive Boat Drama Survivors reached port in Phuket this afternoon to relate their accounts of the sinking of a dive boat in the dark. But seven, named below, are still missing.
Squall Tipped Boat Without Warning: Survivor

Storm Sinks Similans Dive Boat: Seven Missing
Dive Boat Sinking A storm off the Similan islands sank a dive boat last night. The boat included Australians, Austrians, Germans, Swedes, Japanese and Thais. Seven are unaccounted for.
Storm Sinks Similans Dive Boat: Seven Missing

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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He was probably trying to rescue the others -- that's the Thai way.

Posted by Phil on March 13, 2009 10:00

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I believe it. Almost every time I am on the Skytrain I see Thais giving up their seats for old people or women with children. I am impressed with Thai civility.

Posted by Tom Jones on March 13, 2009 15:37


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