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Marine Police Deputy Superintendent Lieutenant Colonel Prasert Srikhoonrat

Latest: Divers Find Boat Four in Seabed 'Tomb'

Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Phuketwan Update Latest

DIVERS have found four bodies inside the wreck of the MV Dive Asia 1 on the floor of the ocean off Phuket.

Attempts will be made tomorrow to bring the bodies back to the surface.

Seven people went missing when the MV Dive Asia 1 was struck by a savage storm that overturned the vessel on Sunday night as it returned from a holiday dive trip to the Similans.

One body, that of an Austrian woman, was found floating on the surface on Tuesday morning.

First reports said that the boat had split in two when it hit the ocean floor at a depth of 71 metres. But sonar had picked up a nearby rock.

Divers today found the boat in one piece on the bottom.

At that depth, diving becomes difficult and only highly skilled professionals can undertake such a mission.

Marine Police Deputy Superintendent Lieutenant Colonel Prasert Srikhoonrat told Phuketwan today that the the bodies were found by divers about 4.10pm.

Jurgen Schenker, Diving Course Director of Dive Asia, confirmed this afternoon that the bodies had been found.

Lieutenant Colonel Prasert said that the bodies were found in the sleeping compartments of the vessel.

As with airlines, the company records who sleeps where on board.

These positional records lead police to conclude that the bodies found today are those of two Austrians and two Swiss.

Divers swam into the sleeping compartments where a missing Japanese and a Thai staffer were recorded to be staying, but could find no sign of anyone there.

The two divers involved in the search today would have paused at set levels to avoid pressure problems as they descended and surfaced.

Missing are: Yuba Hirotsuga, Japan; Klaus Konradoer, Austria; Monika Schuster, Austria; Sibylle Bucher, Switzerland, Rolf Niederberge, Switzerland; Jumpa Sorntat, Thailand.

The husband and relatives of Gabrielle Jetzinger, whose body was recovered on Tuesday, are now on Phuket and preparing for a cremation tomorrow at a Buddhist temple.

Mrs Jetzinger, 52, was a dentist. Her husband positively identified her watch and a ring today.

Marine police found the sunken vessel on Tuesday on the seabed, although at that stage, because of what they were seeing on the sonar, they believed it had broken into two pieces.

The MV Dive Asia 1 was only four-and-a-half months old, having been launched in October after sea trials. It had air-conditioning and modern facilities.

The boat left Chalong pier on March 4 for a liveaboard diving trip to the popular Similans and was due back about 2am on Monday morning. The storm struck about 11pm on Sunday.

Phuket's record since the 2004 tsunami has been star-crossed by a series of events that have impacted on its prosperity.

Phuketwan Dive Boat File


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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This is a very sad event, quite difficult to follow from another country; I am grateful for the timely and careful reporting on this news site.

Posted by Jo on March 11, 2009 19:42

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This was a very unfortunate freak of nature and my heart goes out to everybody involved, at Dive Asia, the families of/and the involved both missing, fatalities and survivors. We all have to remember how powerful nature can be. My thoughts are with all of you.

Posted by Anonymous on March 12, 2009 00:34


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