THALANG: Two boats belonging to Lucky Canoe Co Ltd, one of Phuket’s leading sea canoe operators, burned and sank at Ao Por Pier last night. At 8 pm, a fire broke out on the Lucky Canoe 1 and quickly spread to Lucky Canoe 2 which was docked next to her. Initial estimates put the damage at approximately 10 million baht. Naymong Mukpood, owner of the vessels, says that although he carried liability insurance for injuries to passengers, neither boat was insured against loss by fire. Police are investigating the incident to determine if the fire was accidental or intentionally set. Payong Kong-ou, captain of the Lucky Canoe 1, told police that after he and his crew finished cleaning the two boats at 7 pm, they went ashore for dinner. Witnesses said that at 7:30 pm they heard the sound of a long tail boat near the two vessels, but were unable to identify it because of darkness. Pol Col Praphakorn Saksupa, Superintendent of Thalang District Police Station, and Pol Capt Chamroon Plai-duang, the case investigator, were at the site this morning, questioning the two captains and their crews. The Lucky Canoe 1 and Lucky Canoe 2 were identical double-decked boats, 24 meters in length, and 8 meters in beam. They cost in excess of 3 million baht a piece. Each vessel carried at least 30 canoes which cost 40,000-50,000 baht each.
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