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SUCCESS: Phuket sea gypsies salvage oil carrier

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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SUCCESS: Phuket sea gypsies salvage oil carrier | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: A team of sea gypsy divers have successfully re-floated and towed ashore the Choke Taworn 6, which sunk in heavy seas off Phuket earlier this month with an estimated 25,000 liters of diesel fuel aboard.

The team, led by Surin Pramongkij, successfully brought the vessel to the surface at 11am.

The boat was then towed by its sister vessel Choke Taworn 8 up Klong Tah Chin in Rassada.

However, it ran aground in shallow water before reaching its final destination, the Asian Phuket Marine Dockyard in Rassada.

At 2pm, the sea gypsy divers were busy trying to reposition air-tight oil drums inside the vessel to make it float higher in the water in order to complete the mission.

There were some signs of oil leakage around the wreck, but the estimated 25,000 liters of diesel fuel in a holding tank inside the modified vessel’s hull was still there.

Choke Taworn 6 was en-route to Koh Racha Yai with a cargo of diesel fuel when it foundered in heavy seas and sank in 43 meters of water about 12 nautical miles southwest of Phuket on September 4.

The team of divers, from the Laem Tukkae sea gypsy community on Koh Siray, was hired by the ship owners to salvage the vessel and its cargo.

The darkness at 43 meters and the sea gypsies’ method of breathing compressed air pumped down though hoses from the surface drew criticism and concern from Gazette readers who thought the mission too risky.

However, the divers’ ability using this method impressed all who watched them work in the dark, dirty water of Klong Tah Chin today.

Team leader Surin told the Gazette he hoped to have the vessel in dry dock before nightfall.

— Pimwara Chokesakulpan

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

Tourism

Phuket prepares to welcome first Chinese tourists in over 6 months

Maya Taylor

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Phuket prepares to welcome first Chinese tourists in over 6 months | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Jing Daily

The first group of Chinese tourists to arrive under the new Special Tourist Visa scheme are expected to land in Phuket on October 8. The Bangkok Post reports that a flight from Guangzhou in southern China will carry 120 tourists, who will spend their first 14 days in alternative state quarantine.

Arrivals who do not pass the initial health screening will be transferred to specially chosen hospitals, as “Patients under Investigation”. Those who do pass the screening will be transported to alternative state quarantine once they’ve gone through immigration processing.

Natthapon Nakpanich, from the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, says the resort islands of Phuket and Koh Samui will be the first to welcome travellers under the Special Tourist Via scheme. He points out that Guangzhou has not recorded any new cases of the Covid-19 virus for a prolonged period, meaning next week’s tourist arrivals are deemed “low risk”.

Natthapon says there will be a limit of 300 on the number of foreign tourists admitted each week, but this will be reviewed after the first phase of the re-opening. All arrivals will be subject to 14-day quarantine, although the Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn has suggested reducing this to 7 days eventually.

Thiravat Hemachudha from the Thai Red Cross Emerging Infectious Disease Health Science Centre is not opposed to the idea.

“We can study this with foreign visitors who will arrive next month. During the 14-day quarantine they will be tested on the first, the seventh and the fourteenth day. If they are free of infections, we can shorten the quarantine to 7 days.”

However, not all are in agreement, with a doctor from Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University cautioning against any shortening of the quarantine period.

Meanwhile, Phuket governor, Narong Woonsiew, says the province is ready to welcome the new arrivals, with Covid-19 labs in place at Phuket airport, and officials due to carry out a full dress rehearsal today.

Thanit Sermkaew, chief of the Phuket Public Health Office, says over 1,200 rooms at 9 hotels have been chosen as alternative state quarantine properties, with a total of 73 hotels, providing over 5,800 rooms, applying for consideration.

It’s expected around 5,000 rooms will be needed to accommodate tourists arriving under the SETV scheme, once they’ve finished their quarantine period.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Phuket

Woman arrested for abandoning newborn baby on a bench in Phuket

Caitlin Ashworth

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Woman arrested for abandoning newborn baby on a bench in Phuket | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Siangtai/Newshawk Phuket

Police tracked down and arrested a Burmese woman who allegedly left her newborn baby on a bench in Phuket’s Patong area last week. The mother faces charges of abandoning a baby.

The newborn was left in a reusable shopping bag on a bench behind a Krungthai Bank branch. A woman in the area heard the baby crying and found the newborn in the bag along with a bottle of milk, diapers and clothing. Police reviewed surveillance camera footage shows a woman, police later identified as Ei Ei Phyu, leaving the bag on the bench.

Police say the woman gave birth on September 9 at a local hospital in Surat Thani’s Phun Phin district. Ei Ei allegedly took a van from Surat Thani to Phuket on September 22 and stayed with a friend in Patong. The early the next morning, she allegedly left her baby on the bench before boarding a bus back to Surat Thani.

Burmese workers in the Patong area told police Ei Ei used to work at a local Indian food restaurant before she moved to Surat Thani to work as a rubber tapper. Ei Ei allegedly told police she is not in the position to raise a child.

In earlier reports, police said the baby is healthy and does not appear to have any injuries.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand

Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid | The Thaiger

Phuket Provincial Police have arrested 6 people after finding large amounts of methamphetamine and other drugs during a raid. One suspect alone allegedly had 7.6 kilograms of crystal meth (ya ice) and over 12,500 methamphetamine pills (ya bah). 29 year old Surasak ‘Bank’ Wijit and 27 year old Panida ‘Mei’ Saeyang were arrested at an apartment car park in Soi Lookkaew, Moo 6, Rassada, in eastern Phuket, after they were found in possession of the drugs.

Police also found 2 mobile phones and a red Honda PCX, registered in Phuket, as evidence. Both suspects have been charged with posessing a Category 1 drug with the intent to sell.

Other suspects arrested at the same time include 36 year old from Chiang Rai, 42 year old Sarawut ‘An’ Srichanon, from Ranong and 31 year old Pornthep ‘Iew’ Thepchampa, who were charged with the same crimes in Chalong after police found more drugs in their possession. 33 year old Kamon ‘Kung’ Sae-ngow, was arrested as well after police found kratom juice and leaves at a house in Rassada. He was taken to Phuket City Police station and was charged with a Category 5 drug possession.

SOURCE:The Phuket News

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