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Video Report: Uninsured Phuket ship sunk by fire, owners estimate 5mn in losses

Legacy Phuket Gazette




PHUKET: The wooden cargo ship that caught fire yesterday off Phuket’s east coast in Phang Nga Bay was not insured and represents a 5-million-baht loss, its owners said.

One of the owners, Sompong Maikhaew, and three other men were on the ship when it caught fire, but jumped overboard and were safely rescued by a passing speedboat.

“We left Koh Yao Noi at 2:30pm and were headed for Bang Rong Port on Phuket,” Mr Sompong said.

The 23.5 meter-long Thanaporn was carrying used paper, steel and plastic bottles, along with the body of an old pickup truck.

“We saw the fire coming from some stacks of paper behind the wheelhouse. It just seemed to start spontaneously,” he said. “We tried to put it out, but we couldn’t, so we jumped into the sea.”

Marine police were called to the scene at about 4pm. They battled the flames, but the Thanaporn couldn’t be saved and sank at about 5:30pm.

“The water is deep enough where it sank that it won’t be dangerous to other boats,” said Phuket Marine Officer Panya Chaiachana.

Environmental officers were quickly dispatched to the scene to determine if oil had leaked from the vessel.

“We were concerned about possible environmental damage, but we have confirmed that the boat had not spilled oil,” said Pornsri Suthanaruk, director of Regional Environmental Office 15 Phuket.

Mr Sompong has no plans to salvage the boat.

“There’s nothing left on it but burnt junk,” he said.

A wooden boat transporting trash from Koh Yao Noi caught fire on its way to the Bang Rong Port at 5:30pm yesterday. Video: PGTV / Marine Police

— Chutharat Plerin


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