PHUKET: The search for the six crew members of the 30-meter barge Sintu Phuket 1 will carry on until dark, with stormy conditions continuing over the seas where the boat was lost early this morning, about 25 kilometers south of Phuket (story here).
“We suspect that the ship sank northeast of Koh Racha Yai, and have been focusing our search in a 10 nautical mile radius of the area,” Capt Puttiporn Sawatsut of the Royal Thai Navy Third Area Command told the Phuket Gazette. “We are doing our best in these very challenging weather conditions.”
The search mission includes two boats, one from the Navy and one from the Marine Police, as well as a helicopter.
“We will continue searching for them until nightfall, or if the stormy conditions force us to return to shore. If we aren’t successful, we’ll return in the morning,” Capt Puttiporn said.
So far, two aerial searches by helicopter and continuous searching of the rough seas by boats have yielded no results.
Though there was a small boat order issued yesterday (story here), it was only in effect for boats nine-meters long or smaller. The large barge belongs to Rawai based Racha Yai Island Co Ltd, and has an estimated value of 2 million baht, confirmed Capt Puttiporn.
— Nichana Madsatool