Connect with us


All systems go for Coral Reef Squadron



PHUKET DEEP SEA PORT: Muslim clerics and Buddhist monks held religious services on the morning of November 15 to bless 10 aircraft that will be be sunk off Bang Tao Bay to create the “Coral Reef Squadron,” the first artificial reef project of its kind in Thailand.

The services started at 10:30 am with a ceremony led by Muslim Wittaya School teacher Doroning Sacheh. Also taking part were Phuket Islamic Council chairman Bamroong Samphaorat and committee member Hameed Longji, other Muslim Wittaya teachers and Cherng Talay Tambon Administration Organization (OrBorJor) President Manote Panchalad.

The Muslim blessing was followed by a Buddhist blessing ceremony, conducted by five monks, that lasted until noon.

After the ceremonies, work began on moving the ten aircraft by crane onto waiting barges that will ferry them to the project site, located about one kilometer offshore.

The aircraft were originally meant to be sunk early in May, but the onset of stormy monsoon-season weather caused project organizers ‘For Sea Foundation’  to postpone the sinking until this month for safety reasons.

According to the project schedule, the loading work will take place through November 22, with the barges departing for the project site on November 23.

The sinking of three planes and six helicopters, expected to take four days, will commence November 24.

The sinking of the final Dakota is scheduled to begin at 9 am on the morning of Saturday, November 29.

When all this is completed, there will be a grand opening ceremony with Tourism and Sports Minister Weerasak Kowsurat expected to preside.

Rainer Gottwald, who heads the Thai Dive Association (TDA) committee responsible for the sinking of the aircraft, said yesterday that everything is going according to schedule and all of the aircraft have now been moved to the edge of the wharf.

Mr Gottwald said he is hoping good conditions at Ao Panwa continue, as the loading of the aircraft with their concrete block supports onto barges is delicate work that requires very calm seas to do safely.

Divers will be able to explore the Coral Reef Squadron as early as November 30, he said.

So far, no fee has been set for people visiting the site, but the TDA is discussing with OrBorJor Cherng Talay the possibility of charging a small fee, in return for which divers would get a small souvenir.

However, he revealed that TDA divers are already surveying sites off Khao Lak, where they are planning their second artificial reef project with the help of the Hotel General Managers’ Club of Khao Lak.

The hoteliers would like to have an artificial reef project off the coastline to boost tourism in the resort area, which is still recovering from the devastation of the 2004 tsunami.


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Crime10 hours ago

Everything stolen from Danish man’s 3 homes on Koh Samui

Vietnam11 hours ago

Thai Vietjet resumes Bangkok-Da Lat flights after 3-year break

Chon Buri11 hours ago

A mother and baby escape blaze in Chon Buri with severe burns

Politics12 hours ago

Whole new world of censorship pain on its way to Thailand

Technology12 hours ago

Apple plans to move production out of China and into Thailand

Hot News12 hours ago

Sex outside of marriage to carry one year jail sentence in Indonesia

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Phang Nga13 hours ago

Four orcas spotted playing near the Similan Islands

Economy14 hours ago

Arrogant Thai construction company rips off Myanmar migrant workers

Bangkok15 hours ago

Safety systems at Central World found fully functional after fire

Malaysia16 hours ago

Big Joke ready to extradite Malaysian super-crook ‘Teddy’

Hot News16 hours ago

Thai govt’s chemical castration policy takes effect next month

Transport17 hours ago

RTP urges Thai drivers not to ignore e-tickets, they’re real, not fake

Transport17 hours ago

A few good apples – Taxi drivers are not all bad

Hot News18 hours ago

Pro-monarchy ‘dictator’ must be stopped from retiring in Australia, say Thai asylum activists

Events18 hours ago

Father’s Day celebrated throughout Thailand today

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11