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Marine Police inspect damage to Starship as it returns to port today

Yacht Crewman Knocked Into Sea

Saturday, April 11, 2015
UPDATING All Day, Every Day

NO CHARGES are being laid by Marine Police or local police over the incident so civil action seems likely by the yacht's owner against the dive boat charterers and/or its owners.

Original Report

PHUKET: Two Danish tourists say that one of them was hurled into the sea while the other jumped onto a dive boat as it crashed into a yacht off Phuket last night.

The Danish tourist who jumped onto the dive boat found himself the centre of attention of picture-snapping tourist-divers on the live-aboard vessel.

The other young Dane, knocked into the water, managed to clamber safely onto the yacht's dinghy. The book he had been reading remained in his hand, he said.

The unusual incident was resolved without loss of life or injury when the dive boat returned the Danish tourist.

He jumped into the water near the yacht just before the dive boat crashed into the yacht a second time, according to those still on the yacht.

The captain of the yacht, Starship, American merchant mariner Gary Gilbert, a Phuket resident, is not pleased and aims to take the matter further.

Marine Police and local police, with media, greeted the 36-foot yacht when it returned to Boat Lagoon in Phuket City today to be hoisted ashore for repairs.

Police are also likely to greet the dive boat whenever it returns to shore. Liveaboard excursions usually last for three or four days.

Mr Gilbert told Phuketwan today at Boat Lagoon: ''I want the man who was driving that boat to be arrested and charged with assault.

''I had right of way. All he had to do was slow down or make a turn.''

He said that as Starship was a sailing vessel without an engine, the liveaboard had to give way to the yacht but did not.

''He hit me a second time because he wanted to get the crew member [from our yacht] back on board.'' Mr Gilbert said soon after inspecting the damage to his hoisted yacht.

The strange incident took place about 9.30pm off Maithon Island, on Phuket's east coast.

Mr Gilbert's wife, Khunpai and daughter, Araya Jasmine, aged seven, were also on board Starship, with the two Danes.

Per Bogh Ellekrog, 20, and Jens Ole Haut Vibild, 21, are taking a gap year - and they have an adventurous tale to tell to future classmates.

They were both on the Starship when the dive boat came straight at the yacht - and did not stop coming.

PER'S story: ''Gary, the captain of the yacht, started honking his horn but before we could do anything the boats collided. I was sitting there reading my book when I saw the big boat coming at us. I backed away and was leaning against the railing. From the force of the impact I was thrown into the water and I just looked up and was scared the big boat would run over me. I still had the book in my hands and I was swimming and really scared. I was in the water and the yacht was still moving so i swam as fast as I could to the dinghy. I managed to pull myself up and was at least in safety. While all this was happening my friend Ole was on the other boat and I had no idea how he got there. He just started calling my name and I said 'Ole, Ole, I'm fine.''

OLE's Story: ''I was sleeping in the forward cabin. My friend and I are not sailors at all, we were just on the yacht for a holiday, sharing expenses. Suddenly I heard a siren and saw the big boat coming. I was shocked so i got on the roof and jumped to the other boat because i thought the yacht would sink when the other boat hit. I jumped onto the other boat. My friend, he was thrown off the yacht. So i was just standing on the deck of the other boat. There were a lot of tourists taking a lot of photos. The dive boat people wanted me to swim back to the yacht but i was too shocked. I refused to jump into the water. Then they turned back and asked me again to jump but i said no and a Thai man pushed me into the water. I had to swim back to the yacht. I was totally shocked.''

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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Looks like the boat drivers drive the same way as the minivan/taxi drivers. It is more and more apparent every day, that Thailand is a dangerous place, simply because people just don't follow rules.

Posted by Ed Sanders on April 11, 2015 17:42

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Red give first way to green. A very international sea rule in navigation!

Motor gives way to sail.
Another international sea rule in navigation..

Let us see how thai authorities will handele this international 'sea ruling'. Quite interesting.

Posted by Kurt on April 11, 2015 18:35

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I hope Phuket Marine officer HA is on leave. Otherwise the answer will be if the farang had put his motor on and had turned away nothing would have happened. Happy New Year.

Posted by phuketgreed on April 11, 2015 20:29

Editor Comment:

The answer from Marine Office 5 when we called to ask about a collision at sea was: 'It's a ----ing rumor.''

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A good example of how some locals have zero respect for and don't give a damn about foreigners, all with the not-so-quiet approval of relevant authorities.

I have seen this pent-up anger and hostility build up to alarming levels in the past decade. Being quite fluent in Thai, the things some locals say in my face thinking I don't understand could not be published here.

I've said it before and will say it again - if you as a foreigner become a victim of a crime and the suspect is a Thai, your chances of getting justice are next to nil.

Posted by Herbert on April 11, 2015 22:33

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"... and a Thai man pushed me into the water. I had to swim back to the yacht."

What a bunch of idiots there on the dive boat. It seems they don't take safety not too serious, throwing people off the boat mid-sea!

Posted by SH on April 11, 2015 22:43

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The Danish kid was pushed into the water by the dive boat crew member? This is reprehensible and so very wrong. Meanwhile the heroes of MO5, known for their inaction on the illegal jet ski activities in the zone they are supposed to protect, have not made any attempt to apprehend the dive vessel driver have they? The tourists on board that dive vessel would be right to be concerned about their personal safety.

Posted by Ryan on April 12, 2015 00:31

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feel like the diving boat was not happy you'll be in the surroundings of it' s diving area.... was it an intimidating mesure, business territory or something like this....I've been in trouble a few times with diving boats and crew believing the corals belong to them, and ready to be very aggressive.

Posted by egres on April 12, 2015 06:35

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It's good to see the official in the hat had passed the "pointing at the obvious for photos" course with flying colours.

And it will be interesting to see what Marine 5 do to the captain of the dive boat. From previous experience, probably sweet FA. It's clearly not "a rumor" as there is a photo of an official pointing, so it must have happened. The guy should be investigated and if this is true should be punished severely, but we all know that's not going to happen .... He just needs to cry a bit and all will be well. Pathetic !

Posted by Discover Thainess on April 12, 2015 07:55

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Better wait with judgement until we know exactly what happened, so far we have only heard one side.

It was not a liveaboard boat BTW but a daytrip boats.

Posted by stevenl on April 12, 2015 10:10

Editor Comment:

A daytrip boat . . . at 9.30pm?

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International COLREGS be damned. As a yachtie often been threatened with collision situations with freighters ,tankers,pair trawlers et al both night and day. It is the responsibility of every skipper to keep a good lookout and safeguard his vessel and personnel regardless of marine conventions. If you see a potential collision situation take appropriate action to get the fk out of the way!

Posted by david on April 12, 2015 12:26

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david is on the money , never has total blame been apportioned to one vessel .

the preamble to COLREGS states that there is NOTHING in the regs to stop a master taking all necessary actions to avoide a collision .

Posted by Anonymous on April 12, 2015 13:47

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to take this a step further phuketgreed has the correct answer from the Marine Dept .

the answer will be if the farang had put his motor on and had turned away nothing would have happened. Happy New Year

Posted by Beach Bum on April 12, 2015 13:56


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