Fishermen survive 5 days adrift

KALIM: Three Indonesian fishermen who spent at least five days adrift without food after their boat was caught in not one but two storms, washed ashore at Kalim Beach this morning and are now recovering at Patong Hospital. Pol Maj Narong Laoprathumviroj, an Inpector at Kathu Police Station, told the Gazette today, “Three men and their fishing boat washed ashore at Kalim Beach at about 6:30 this morning. Local villagers who discovered them took the men straight to Patong Hospital.” Maj Narong named the three fishermen as Abdul Ali, 55, Shavil Faux, 22, and Bantik, 28. He explained that the fishermen left their home port in Aceh province, in Indonesia, about a week ago and arrived at Koh Racha to fish. “Late last week the crew were caught in a storm that proved too much for their boat’s engine. Too much water had seeped into the engine room, damaging the engine so that the crew could not restart it,” Maj Narong said. “They drifted and had no food for five days. Last night a Thai fishing boat offered to tow the stricken vessel to shore, but this time both boats were caught in another storm, during which the towline broke.” The Indonesian vessel capsized on its side, and the three men clambered on top of the hull. Finally, they and the boat washed up on Kalim beach, where local residents found them. Pol Col Chalit Thintanee, Superintendent of Kathu Police Station, who arrived at the scene later, said that he had contacted Phuket Immigration officers to prosecute the survivors for illegally entering Thailand. “Officers will question the men to investigate any links to [terrorist organization Jemaah Islamiyah], because security for the [Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation] meetings has to be strong,” Col Chalit added.

Phuket News

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