Royal battleships make a reefinement splash as underwater tourism sets sail off Koh Tao

Photo courtesy of Sanook.

The royal battleships Su Phairin and Han Hak Satru just took their last splash as they were submerged undersea to form refinement ambassadors. Rear Admiral Charasakiat Chaiphan, commander of the 2nd naval area, led the initiative, all part of the underwater learning park project to take the plunge into underwater tourism.

The two decommissioned vessels found their new home off the picturesque coast of Koh Tao, nestled within Surat Thani province. This venture was the result of a collaborative effort between the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) and the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources. It holds the promise of serving as a captivating diving site while actively contributing to the preservation and rejuvenation of marine and coastal ecosystems in the region.

It’s noteworthy that these battleships aren’t the pioneers in transitioning into aquatic sanctuaries around Koh Tao. Back in 2011, the RTN had generously bestowed the retired Sattakut battleship upon the island. This vessel found its final berth near the White Rock, on the western shores of Koh Tao, effectively birthing the inaugural Underwater Learning Park.

Since then, this site has flourished into a vital diving destination, teeming with a diverse array of marine life, featuring vibrant corals, graceful sea anemones, delicate sea fans, and enigmatic black corals. With the latest inclusion of Su Phairin and Han Hak Satru, anticipation brews for an influx of both Thai and international divers, propelling the local underwater tourism industry towards new heights.

Wichawut Jinto, the Governor of Surat Thani, eloquently expressed that even before this latest addition, Koh Tao had already secured its position as a premier tourist destination. It ranks among the top ten diving locales globally and stands as a pivotal underwater classroom in Asia. The recent developments are poised to further embellish its renown, creating fresh habitats for marine inhabitants and augmenting its allure as a hub for underwater tourism.

Su Phairin and Han Hak Satru, identified by their ship numbers 313 and 312 respectively, had gallantly plied the seas for over 47 years before they embarked on their ultimate voyage to the ocean floor yesterday, reported Sanook.

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Samantha Rose

Samantha was a successful freelance journalist who worked with international news organisations before joining Thaiger. With a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from London, her global perspective on news and current affairs is influenced by her days in the UK, Singapore, and across Thailand. She now covers general stories related to Thailand.

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