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The names of survivors are recorded after the Phuket dive boat sinking

Phuket Navy Sea Rescue Deal to Lift Safety

Thursday, February 4, 2010
GOVERNOR Wichai Praisa-ngob signed an agreement with Thailand's Third Navy yesterday to improve sea rescue services throughout the Andaman.

The agreement is designed to ensure better coordination and responsibility for various functions in future incidents and natural disasters.

The deal is expected to lead to the Navy becoming involved in future sea rescues and using its helicopters more frequently to find vessels in trouble.

On hand with Governor Wichai at the Metropole Hotel in Phuket City was Vice Admiral Choomnoom Ardwong, who took over as chief of the Third Navy in October.

Three Phuket village fishermen were rescued last week after having been missing for almost a week. A Navy helicopter spotted them in international waters.

In March last year, the capsize of a dive boat took seven lives but the 23 survivors were left to drift off Phuket's busy west coast for hours because no aerial search was mounted.

The survivors eventually managed to attract the attention of a passing fisherman and used his mobile telephone to call in rescuers themselves.

It the event of a major security alert in the Andaman provinces, Vice Admiral Choomnoom Ardwong is the man who has the responsibility of taking charge.
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Search and Rescue depends primarily on communications. There is no dedicated VHF radio channel for Phuket SAR, because it doesn't exist. The normal (in any other part of the world) use of VHF Ch 16 isn't going to get any form of response, other than potentially from other expat boat users, because there is never anyone in a local facility capacity at the other end.

Posted by PAG on February 4, 2010 22:50


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