Connect with us


Coral Reef Squadron red-flagged



Coral Reef Squadron red-flagged | Thaiger

PHUKET CITY: The sinking of 10 decommissioned military aircraft – nicknamed the Coral Reef Squadron – to create Thailand’s largest artificial reef has been postponed until November, Tourism Authority of Thailand South Region 4 Office Director Suwalai Pinpradub announced today.

Speaking at a press conference this afternoon, K. Suwalai said that the strong winds and large waves that have arrived with the rainy season monsoon have now made it too dangerous to sink the aircraft in Bang Tao Bay.

The operation was set to begin today and wrap up with Tourism and Sports Minister Weerasak Kowsurat and Thai celebrities attending the final-day festivities on Monday.

A date has yet to be set for the operation to continue, K. Suwalai said.

In the meantime, the four Douglas C-47 Dakota Skytrain military transport aircraft and six Sikorsky S-58T helicopters will be kept at Layan Beach until the weather improves.

The deferral of the project also follows concerns that the aircraft could be dangerous for divers if they were not properly secured to the seabed.

In response to the safety concerns, Pragon Geatgun, Vice-President of the Thai Diving Association (TDA), told the Gazette earlier today that the aircraft would be chained to large concrete blocks. “We will chain the aircraft to one-ton cement blocks with stainless-steel chain, sinking them together.

For example, the larger Dakota planes will be chained to three of the one-ton cement blocks, he said.

The aircraft will have to be sunk carefully, because the aircraft are old and very light compared with the weight of the concrete slabs, he added.

Asked who would manage the new dive site, he said a committee comprising government agencies, dive operators, the TDA, Cherng Talay Tambon Administration Organization, local people, technical experts and other groups would be formed to manage it.

“We plan to do more artificial reefs in the future. This is only the first step, so we need to have a good committee to look after this reef,” he said.


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.

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Travel16 seconds ago

Impressive beachfront hotels to book in Phuket

Crime12 mins ago

Thai temple man charged with murder of alleged would-be robber

Travel16 mins ago

5 incredible beaches in Phuket to visit in 2022

Sponsored6 hours ago

British International School Phuket: Reflecting on 25 years of world-class education

Travel17 mins ago

Board game cafes in Bangkok to unleash your competitive streak

Cannabis19 mins ago

Cannabis is illegal on Khao San Road, officials call for crackdown

Bangkok1 hour ago

Crocodile turns up in an unusual location: the heart of Bangkok

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
North East2 hours ago

48 year old Thai man gets first ID card after a lifetime of trying

Thailand2 hours ago

The Power of Resilience: Anna wins the Miss Universe Thailand crown by Mouawad

Tourism2 hours ago

4am alcohol curfew may increase revenue, but also crime, deaths

Chon Buri3 hours ago

Mountain B fire claims 19th life, 23 year old woman dies in hospital

Tourism3 hours ago

Another long weekend brings huge crowds to Surat Thani

Travel3 hours ago

Best diving schools in Koh Samui for 2022

Crime3 hours ago

1 dead, 4 injured as gunmen rampage at a Bangkok wedding

Crime4 hours ago

Tenant fined 140,000 baht for keeping dog in Bangkok condominium

Pattaya4 hours ago

Speedo-wearing middle-aged joggers in Jomtien cause uproar

Thailand11 months ago

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

Thailand1 year ago

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

Tourism1 year ago

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

Phuket1 year ago

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

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

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

Tourism1 year 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