Sea Canoe boat sunk by arsonists
THALANG: Arsonists are believed to have been responsible for the total loss of a vessel owned and operated by tour company Sea Canoe Thailand, and an attempt to sink the company’s other boat. The Urida 98 had put into Ao Por and was moored at the pier after returning from a tour. The crew left the ship to attend a Loy Krathong festival. At around 8 pm, an explosion was heard from the boat. Despite the efforts of the crew, longtail boatmen and Ao Por pier staff, it drifted, blazing, from its mooring, pushed by strong winds. After burning for more than two hours the boat sank about one kilometer from land. No one was aboard at the time and no injuries were reported. The 19-meter vessel was worth around 2 million baht but the total cost, including canoes and camping equipment stowed onboard, is thought to be in excess of 3 million baht. Sea Canoe boss Soonthorn “Mood” Sakulsan, 40, told the Gazette: “It was too far out [to sea] and we couldn’t stop it burning. Now we have only one vessel left for our tour programs.” Police came up with the arson theory after the crew of the Urida 98‘s sister vessel, the Prasanchon 29, who were aboard their boat, reported that they had heard a thump and found a one-liter bottle full of gasoline with a burning rag wick on board. The crew were successful in putting out the fire and little damage was done. K. Mood told the Gazette that he believed a business conflict might be behind the attacks, “or it may have been an employee we fired.”
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