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The Booze Cruise on the bottom off Phuket's Chalong Pier tonight

Phuket's Booze Cruise Boat Sinks: 19 Russians Saved From The Drink

Tuesday, February 26, 2013
PHUKET: The Booze Cruise went to the bottom of the sea off Phuket's Chalong Pier late today with 19 Russians on board.

It wasn't the kind of sinking to cause too many problems. The Booze Cruise was a short distance from Chalong Pier and the shore, so everyone on board either swam or perhaps even walked to safety, or was picked up by a passing speedboat.

Interest mostly centred on the reason for the sinking. The Booze Cruise hit a concrete block designed to anchor a buoy that designates a safe passage.

But this concrete block had no buoy attached.

It was, according to others on the shore at Chalong, the fourth time in two days that boats had struck the concrete block.

The block shouldn't be where it is, locals say.

Three boats suffered damage, the Booze Cruise sank.

At high tide, there's no problem with what yachties describe as a ''derelict block.'' At low tide, as boat owners are discovering, it's a different matter.

Atilla Dungor, the Turkish owner of the Booze Cruise business, told Phuketwan tonight that he rents the boat from its Thai owner.

Asked exactly what happened, he said: ''The bottom of the boat hit one of the concrete bricks.

''It was about 20 metres from safety. Some of the people on board swam off the boat, others were picked up by speedboat. It wasn't a risky situation.''

He said the boat went out to Coral Island whenever there was a booking. ''I am really upset right now, maybe we can talk some other time,'' he said.

Mr Dungor said he would be talking to his lawyer tomorrow.

The Chief of Phuket's Marine Office 5, Phuripat Theerakulpisut, went to the scene of the sinking.

He said the sinking couldn't be the fault of Marine Office 5, which set up the buoys at Chalong. He suggested that the captain of the boat could be to blame.

Comments

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Would this happen in Europe, the US, OZ, NZ no - come on Thailand all these billions of Baht coming in from the tourists - take care of them, they are supporting Phuket's economy. Get the block removed or flagged tomorrow.

Posted by Happy Farang on February 26, 2013 21:21

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5 minutes to attach a float to the block so that the few locals not knowing where it is could avoid it - help out others is just too difficult in phuket these days.

Posted by Mister Ree on February 26, 2013 21:41

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"He said the sinking couldn't be the fault of Marine Office 5, which set up the buoys at Chalong. He suggested that the captain of the boat could be to blame."
Priceless! Indeed, the captain should have used his x-ray goggles to locate the block.

Posted by John on February 26, 2013 22:54

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I saw this as is happened. The problem with attaching a float to the block is that there are actually several blocks that have become navigational hazards at low tide. These are the blocks that were part of the 200 dropped by Marine Office 5. Full moon now so very low tides at the time of the accident.

Posted by NomadJoe on February 26, 2013 23:19

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Maybe Phuripat Theerakulpisut could publish a list of what exactly the Marine Dept is responsible for.

Has the Marine Dept ever accepted any liability for any of the marine incidents around Phuket ?

Posted by Soupdragon on February 27, 2013 09:12

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Well done Khun Phuripat. Another case of "not our problem". Just like his insistence there are no Jet Ski problems. Oh dear...

Posted by Duncan on February 27, 2013 09:33

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Its never the fault of the government. Or any officials. Blame it on the poor Captain.

Posted by wjb on February 27, 2013 09:48

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Harbour Department is in charge to remove all hazards to navigation; specially entry and exit of port;
50 meters from PTT chalong Pier they are a wreck below surface and many tour boats break propellers with it.
The Chief of Phuket's Marine Office 5, Phuripat Theerakulpisut should get an international training about his duty.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on February 27, 2013 10:02

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I could not resist this:-
Ivan we are going down
Boris we are going down
Alexi we are going down
We going to swim in the stinky bay.

Posted by Ineptocracsy on February 28, 2013 00:03

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if 19 tuk tuk drivers were on board all the port would be taxi blockaded and there'd be instant action.

Posted by slickmelb on March 2, 2013 03:27


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