Andaman ordeal ends on Karon beach

KARON: Four Indonesian fishermen and their boat ended up on Karon beach yesterday after a three-week ordeal at sea, drifting with a broken engine. Pol Maj Sana Pandee of Chalong Police Station told the Gazette today, “I was informed by the Navy that a foreign vessel was sitting on Karon beach.” When he arrived at the beach, he said, he found the boat’s captain, Yurisa, 27, along with his three-man crew, sitting exhausted and hungry on the sand next to their 30-meter fishing boat. “The investigation was difficult,” Maj Sana said, “because none of them speaks an international language, and it took us a while to find an Indonesian interpreter.” Eventually the story was told. The crew explained that they were fishermen from Ajaalan, near the northern tip of Sumatra. They sailed from there on July 21, they explained, but on July 24 an engine piston broke. The boat has no radio. While they waited for help to arrive, the crew eked out their water supply and rationed the rice on board. Thanks to their professional skills they also managed to catch enough fish to survive. “Strong winds and waves eventually pushed their boat into Thai territorial waters,” Maj Sana said. “At about 8 am yesterday, a Thai fishing boat took them in tow and left them on Karon beach.” The four Indonesians have been charged with entering Thailand illegally. Pol Col Sati Malakanond, Superintendent of the Chalong Police Station, explained that this was necessary because the Indonesians were carrying no ID papers. In similar cases in the past, he said, the Indonesian Embassy has declined to take responsibility for repatriating people without some form of documentary evidence that they were indeed Indonesians. The police charge sheet provides this evidence.

Phuket News

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Legacy Phuket Gazette

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

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