Three more mini-subs found in Rawai

RAWAI, PHUKET : Mini-sub fever, sparked by newspaper reports of a submarine being built in a Phuket shipyard for Sri Lanka’s rebel Tamil Tigers, reached a new pitch at the weekend with reports of another small sub sighted in the waters off Koh Hey Island, south of Phuket’s Chalong Village. Spurred into action, Chalong police investigated the report and on Saturday found not one, but three mini-subs at a boatyard in Moo 6, Rawai Village. The submarines are equipped with rows of windows and seating for four people – very different from the submarine found by the Gazette two days ago. Pol Col Sati Malakanond, Superintendent of Chalong Police Station, told the Gazette, “We heard a rumor, so we sent our officers out looking for [the sub], as we thought it might be related to the mini-submarine written about in the newspapers.” What they found was that the mini-sub, and two more like it, were owned by Sithichai Wonsrivijit, also known as Go Chai, who is the owner of Sea Station Partnership, which runs a diving and snorkeling business at Koh Hey. “We contacted him and he invited me, Taweesak Sangchu, a representative from Muang District, and Somchai Limthomg, the chief of the Phuket Harbour Master’s Department, to take a look at the subs. “He explained that he is also an inventor – he invented a helmet for sea walking and had just completed building his latest invention. He had taken it out to Koh Hey for a trial run on the day it was spotted.” He said K. Sithichai had explained that he wanted to use the submarines to take tourists visiting Koh Hey for underwater rides. “There is nothing that leads us to believe that this has anything to do with the Tamil Tigers or any other foreign organization. But just in case, we have reported [the submarines’ existence] to the Governor and the Commander of the Phuket Provincial Police,” said Col Sati. The submarines are still undergoing tests and K. Sithichai plans to have the design patented.

Phuket News

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