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Phuket’s ‘Coral Reef Squadron’ 90% destroyed: TDA

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Phuket’s ‘Coral Reef Squadron’ 90% destroyed: TDA | The Thaiger

PHUKET CITY: Phuket’s ‘Coral Reef Squadron’ sunk off Bang Tao Bay last November is 90 percent missing or destroyed, the Thai Dive Association admitted today.

Rainer Gottwald, head of the Thai Dive Association (TDA) technical committee, said TDA divers visited the site on Wednesday and were only able to find one of the 10 aircraft that formed the artificial reef.

Storms and heavy monsoon season currents were to blame, Mr Gottwald said.

Failure to follow instructions by some members of the team who chained the aircraft to large concrete blocks, and subsequent damage by trawlers,may also have played a role, he said.

The destruction of the site was ‘very upsetting’, given all the work and expense put into the project by the TDA and the numerous other agencies and organizations involved, he said.

The project was initiated by the Bangkok-based For Sea Foundation and funded to the tune of 4 million baht by the Cherng Talay Tambon Administration Organization, which hoped the reef would boost tourism in the area.

The project also received a great deal of private-sector sponsorship.

Mr Gottwald said the TDA would have to learn from its mistakes and would probably use train wagons instead of aircraft in future projects.

The ‘Coral Reef Squadron’ consisted of four Douglas C-47 Dakota Skytrain military transport aircraft and six Sikorsky S-58T helicopters.

The TDA divers were only able to find one Dakota during the dive on Wednesday, which followed a series of heavy storms, he said.

TDA divers will survey the area to try and learn more about the fate of the aircraft when sea conditions improve, he said.

Mr Gottwald said he did not think currents would carry the aircraft to the shore, because if that were going to happen it probably would have done so already.

The missing aircraft were probably buried beneath the sand, he said.

— Stephen Fein



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Phuket

Slow loris released back into Phuket forest

The Thaiger

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Slow loris released back into Phuket forest | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Department of National Parks

Officers from of the Khao Phra Thaeo Non-Hunting Area have helped in the release of a slow loris back into the wild yesterday.

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation reports that the head of Khao Phra Thaeo Non-Hunting Area, Pongchart Chueahom, yesterday released the slow loris to the Khao Phra Thaeo Non-Hunting Are in Thalang.

The slow loris was found near a furniture factory in Thalang last week. It was being treated at a pet hospital before being handed over to Khun Pongchart when it was ready to be set free.

Slow loris released back into Phuket forest | News by The Thaiger Slow loris released back into Phuket forest | News by The Thaiger

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Phuket

Seastead structure dragged back to shore by Royal Thai Navy

The Thaiger

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Seastead structure dragged back to shore by Royal Thai Navy | The Thaiger

A floating seastead has today been towed by a naval vessel back to the Port of Phuket in Cape Panwa. Meanwhile the Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam is challenging the owners and builders of the structure to take the Thai Government and Navy to the International Court of Justice.

The Royal Thai Navy’s Third Fleet ventured out with a group of reporters on Saturday to inspect the floating seastead, the first of about 20 planned Ocean Builders for the open waters about 22km from Phuket’s Koh Racha Yai.

Nothing valuable was found on board the octagon-shaped steel and aluminium structure which was attached to a floating platform.

Two vessels were used in today’s operation. The living quarters were detached and placed on the first vessel and the second towed the floating platform to the shore for safe keeping pending legal action against its owner as well as the builder, Ocean Builders Company.

Dr. Wissanu said yesterday that Thai authorities were authorised to remove or dismantle the floating housing unit with or without the consent of its owner after finding the structure could pose a threat to Thai national security and sovereignty in accordance with Article 119 of the Criminal Code.

He said that the structure also posed an obstacle to vessels and was located not far from an oil rig.

Regarding the threat by Ocean Builders Company to sue the Thai government in the International Court of Justice for the removal, the deputy PM says he welcomes the move, noting that no government anywhere would allow a seastead settlement near their maritime territory.

Seasteader Chad Andrew Edwartowski and his Thai wife, Mrs. Nadia Summergirl, are wanted by the Thai police for questioning after Thai immigration revoked the American’s non-immigrant visa and blacklisted him.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

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Phuket

Phuket taxi slams into tree in Phattalung

The Thaiger

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Phuket taxi slams into tree in Phattalung | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phattalung Rescue

Two people have sustained serious injuries after a Phuket taxi slammed into a tree in Phattalung last night.

Phattalung rescue workers were notified of the accident in Mueang Pattalung District at 7.57pm last night (Sunday).

They arrived at the scene to find the Phuket registered taxi resting in front of the big tree on the side of the road near a temple. The front of the vehicle had extensive damage following the collision.

The two people who sustained serious injuries were 58 year old Wanchai Srithong and 64 year old Jamras Srithong. They were both taken to the Phattalung Hospital.

Pattalung City Police are continuing their investigation. There has been no explanation given at this stage as to why a Phuket taxi was in Phattalung.

Phuket taxi slams into tree in Phattalung | News by The Thaiger Phuket taxi slams into tree in Phattalung | News by The Thaiger

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