Connect with us


Frogmen plug leaking oil tank in Satun

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET CITY: A team of frogmen yesterday sealed a hole in the tank of a sunken fishing vessel off Satun’s Koh Lipe, stopping an oil leak that left some island beaches blackened earlier in the week.

The oil leak was first noticed early last Saturday morning at Ao Pramong, on the north coast of Koh Lipe.

In an all-day operation yesterday, ten teams of two divers each managed to survey the wreck of the 70-meter vessel.

After finding the source of the leak, a one-inch diameter hole where a bolt had come undone, they inserted a plug to temporarily stop the leak.

Frogmen also collected pure samples of the oil, which was originally thought to be bunker oil but now appears to be motor oil.

The vessel originally sunk about 14 years ago some two kilometers off Koh Lipe.

The second of two efforts to salvage the ship by its owner were halted years ago when Tarutao National Park ordered they could not drag the ship over coral beds off Koh Lipe.

As a result, the vessel was left at a location about half a kilometer offshore from a part of the island known as Pattaya Bay, where it now sits at a depth of 42 meters.

The vessel, now itself covered with coral, lies tilted and with its bow pointing towards the island.

A special committee chaired by Satun Vice Governor Chuangchai Pao-in is now looking at ways to keep more oil from leaking from the vessel.

The boat was originally designed as a cargo ship but was later modified to serve as a trawler with the capacity to process catch into fishmeal while at sea.

V/Gov Chaungchai said the committee is considering two options to prevent leaking in the short term.

Both require obtaining the plans of the ship from its original owner to determine the exact size and location of the oil tank.

The first option would be to permanently seal the tank.

The second would be to pump the oil to the surface, where it would be collected and disposed of.

Such an operation would carry the risk of more leakage or even a larger rupture, so sorbent booms and other control measures would need to be put in place in advance.

Divers yesterday were unable to delineate the exact configuration of the tank or estimate how much oil it might still contain. The tank assembly is thought to have a total capacity of 60,000 liters.

A more long-term solution would be a complete salvage operation, but this would require both permission and funding approval from the National Resources and Environment Minister, V/Gov Chaungchai said.

Such an operation might damage coral in the area, so steps would have to be taken to minimize any such damage, he added.

In recent days, winds and currents have carried the oil away from the island and heavy seas have begun to break up the slick into globules.

Heavy surf has also largely cleaned the beaches of oil, though the smell of oil persists, it was reported.

— Wachira Saleemean


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


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:

Weather5 hours ago

Flooded hospital in Chaiyaphum had to evacuates 40 patients

Thailand6 hours ago

300,000 more AstraZeneca vaccines donated from Japan arrived

Northern Thailand6 hours ago

Extremely rare earthstar mushrooms found in Phetchabun

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Weather8 hours ago

Flood warnings below of Chao Phraya Dam, across Thailand

Thailand10 hours ago

US calls meeting with Thai officials to resolve donated vaccines

Thailand10 hours ago

10 Burmese migrant workers arrested in Songkhla

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand11 hours ago

Over 50 million vaccine doses administered in Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 hours ago

Sunday Covid-19 Afternoon Update: Provincial Totals

World12 hours ago

China announces cryptocurrency trading is illegal

North East12 hours ago

Stolen 72 year old elephant returned to owner after 18 years

Thailand13 hours ago

Pattaya readjusts tourism goals for high season

Thailand14 hours ago

Phuket relaxes checkpoint requirements to help tourists and health officials

Phuket14 hours ago

Phuket Covid-19: 2 deaths, 4 Sandbox infections, 10k total cases

Thailand15 hours ago

Facebook page that claims to sell dog meat met with scorn on social media

Thailand16 hours ago

Thailand welcomes its first AI influencer, “AI Ailynn”

Thailand2 weeks ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Tourism7 months ago

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

Phuket7 months ago

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

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

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

Tourism7 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand9 months ago

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

Thailand9 months ago

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

Thailand9 months ago

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

Thailand9 months ago

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