Connect with us


Warcraft reef to bring back marine life

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: Ten decommissioned military aircraft will be sunk off the coast of Cherng Talay to create the largest artificial reef of its kind in Thailand.

The announcement was made at a meeting and project presentation chaired by Vice-Governor Worapot Ratthasima at Phuket Provincial Hall on Thursday.

Attending were representatives from several government agencies and Vittayen Muttamara, head of the Bangkok-based For Sea Foundation, a non-profit organization that has organized the project with the support of the Thai Diving Association.

The Cherng Talay Tambon Administration Organization (OrBorTor) has provided 4 million baht for the project, which will see four Douglas C-47 Skytrain military transport aircraft and six Sikorsky S-58T helicopters sunk about a kilometer off Bang Tao Beach.

The aircraft will rest about 20 meters deep where a sunken tin-mining sledge already lies submerged.

For Sea Foundation secretary Vittayen Muttamura said his organization was established by a group of Bangkok-based divers in April 2005 to survey and restore coral reefs damaged by the tsunami.

“We co-ordinated with all the agencies involved to acquire the decommissioned aircraft from the air force and to get permission to sink them in order to create an artificial reef. This project is the first of its kind in Thailand,” he said.

The aging aircraft, which have been dubbed the “Coral Reef Squadron”, are currently at the Koke Krathiem Air Force Base in Lopburi.

The US-built aircraft, which served during the Vietnam and Korean wars, will be partially disassembled and transported overland before being dropped into the ocean in a two-day operation scheduled to start on May 5.

The dive site is expected to take some pressure off popular dive sites in the Similan and Surin Marine National Parks, K. Wittaya said.

“We believe these aircraft are very suitable for creating artificial reefs because they are large enough for divers to enter and will not affect currents at that depth. Also, they are mostly aluminum and will not rust,” he said.

The Douglas C-47 Skytrains, commonly called “Dakotas”, have a wingspan of 29m and are more than 19m long and more than 5m tall.

The Sikorsky S-58T is a large helicopter built for a crew of two and 12 passengers. It is more than 14m long and 4m tall.

Cherng Talay OrBorTor President Manote Panchalaad said the project has full local support because it will promote tourism while helping local marine ecology.

Paitoon Praechaiyaphum of the Marine and Coastal Resources Department Region 4 office in Phuket said the project will become Phuket’s second major dive site.

“The reefs located off Koh Racha Yai, which attract some 600 divers monthly, is currently the only major site,” he added.

“We expect about 3,000 divers to visit the site annually,” he said.


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Drugs3 hours ago

Police nab 600kg heroin drug bust, year’s biggest in Northeast

Koh Samui7 hours ago

Koh Samui unaccustomed to Covid-19, many act in dismay

Thailand9 hours ago

Bangkok Airways extends flight suspension to August 11

Sponsored2 days ago

Experience Phuket’s Islands with 5 Star Marine

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Thailand9 hours ago

7 Jomtien Beach curfew breakers arrested

Thailand10 hours ago

Buri Ram pig stable converted into gambling den: 22 arrests follow

Thailand11 hours ago

“Fake news” banned, Thai media say order infringes on freedoms

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Phuket11 hours ago

Precarious Phuket: open internationally, closed domestically

Best of12 hours ago

Top 5 tattoo parlours Bangkok

World12 hours ago

Duterte approves lockdown measures for Manila

Best of12 hours ago

The Best Pizza in Bangkok with Delivery

Thailand12 hours ago

Thailand News Today | worker camp woes, ‘fake news’ crackdown | July 30

Best of12 hours ago

Best Premium Hotel Buffets in Bangkok

Coronavirus (Covid-19)12 hours ago

CCSA considers extending restrictions in “dark red” zones for another 14 days

Thailand13 hours ago

Fake dead bodies used in Phuket protest, police plan real investigation

Best of13 hours ago

Top 5 adventure tours in Chiang Mai

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8