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Hanging 10 . . . Royal Thai Navy 1 shoots the waves at Phuket's Kata beach

Phuket Yacht Breaks Free by Surfing 'Graveyard'

Sunday, December 12, 2010
Yacht Graveyard Photo Album Above

FREE to surf and sail . . . Royal Thai Navy 1 breaks away from the shoreline at a Phuket beach graveyard for yachts, where it had been swept by a severe storm.

Other Phuket King's Cup Regatta racers will not be so fortunate. Several high-priced yachts are still locked on the beach, unable to move.

A savage squall swept a dozen expensive vessels ashore in the early hours of Saturday morning, preventing a day of Phuket racing for the first time in the long history of Asia's premiere sailing event.

Owners could only look on at the five yachts still locked in water and sand on Phuket's popular Kata beach this afternoon. Several of the 10-million baht or more vessels will never sail again.

Plans to lift some boats free with cranes did not eventuate today, but owners and insurance assessors were busy along the beach, where the presence of the sand-stuck yachts made for an added tourist attraction.

The Royal Thai Navy 1 surfed over the waves with the help of a complement of sailors in the water and a large engine-powered Navy boat out at sea.

Coming out of the blue, the late monsoon storm caught some of the region's finest sailors unprepared when it swept in on Saturday before dawn. Skippers had clearly not expected such a storm out of clear skies.

One Phuket King's Cup Regatta official said that some yachts had clearly anchored too close to shore. Some had probably also chosen light anchors, better for racing in terms of weight, but less resistant to the Phuket October storm that waited until December to arrive.

More attention to weather forecasts can be expected for the sailing of the 25th Phuket King's Cup Regatta next year.

The cost of repairs to the Navy boat is estimated at 300,000 baht . . . but at least it is still afloat. The rest? It's about a 30 million baht shipwreck.
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Comments

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I was not there to see what did or didn't happen and why but I just wonder why did the Thai navy not help to rescue other boats ?

From the pictures it appears that at least two could be possibly saved.

I also wonder why the crane never appeared.

I understand there may be a multitude of reasons, some of which I may not come to think of but nevertheless it begs the question why only the Thai navy boat was helped out.

Posted by Chris on December 12, 2010 23:25

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RTN Commander in charge told me on Sunday only cranes could help lift off most of the other yachts as they were too heavy, damaged with holes in, or already written off, to tow by their ship. The multihulls could more easily be pushed out from the beach when conditions allow.
You can see my videos including interviews about this on blip.tv or youtube.com

Posted by Grant on December 13, 2010 13:53

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Coming out of the blue, the late monsoon storm caught some of the region's finest sailors unprepared....

...despite it being predicted for at least about a week on most weather sites.

Posted by another steve on December 13, 2010 15:08

Editor Comment:

You're a hard man, another steve. Ninety percent of the sailors escaped. Those that didn't probably don't need your hindsight analysis. If there was a position for you on any yacht, it would definitely be at the bow.


Tuesday March 26, 2019
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa

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