Connect with us

Phuket

Woman survives four-day ordeal at sea

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

Woman survives four-day ordeal at sea | The Thaiger
  • follow us in feedly

PHUKET: Australian mother-of-four Dominique Courteille, 57, survived an ordeal of four days adrift on the Andaman Sea and in the Straits of Malacca in a dinghy.

Speaking to the media at Bangkok Hospital Phuket (BHP) today, the Belgian-born naturalized Australian said that on Thursday she and her crew went ashore on Koh Lipe, in Satun Province, to eat at a restaurant, leaving her yacht Sonnet moored only 150 meters offshore.

Later that night, she returned to the yacht alone as the other crew members, Manfred “Richie” Neustifter, 24, and Conrad Ohlier, 43, had decided to stay on the island a while longer.

However, the dinghy’s engine ran out of fuel as Ms Courteille was returning to Sonnet, and a combination of high winds and abnormally-strong currents swept the now-powerless boat out to sea.

“I went straight past the yacht and tried to row as best as I could but I’m not the strongest of rowers,” said Ms Courteille. “I then tried to signal to other yachts with my oars and I shouted for help, but pretty soon they were too far away and couldn’t hear me.

“At first I was very relaxed because I was sure that my friends, who are good sailors, would notice me gone, and come to find me. But it was nighttime, so it was very difficult for them [to do so] and by that time I had already been taken too far out by the current, which was much, much stronger than usual.”

She said, “It was terrible because there was shipping passing and it consisted of cargo ships and fishing boats, all of which were much bigger than my dinghy. I was going very slow and the waves were high. I was trying to get them to notice me and I shouted and shouted, but the wind carried my voice away.”

Ms Courteille went on to explain that each day of her ordeal she tied a rope around herself and slipped into the sea, so as to avoid direct sunlight.

Contemplating death, Ms Courteillle wrote on the dinghy’s sides, “I did not commit suicide! It was an accident with the engine that sent me off into the blue. I am very sad to die because I would have loved to see you live. I’m astonished that no one has come looking for me, because I’m three miles from the island and, after that, nothing. I love you all. Think of me from time to time while dropping a flower in the water.”

Help finally arrived yesterday in the form of a Indonesian fishing boat from the Yee Long Trading Company. The crew members took her on board and fed her biscuits and water, her first food for four days; all that she had consumed during her ordeal were her own urine and six antacid tablets.

Pol Sgt Yaomarn Chumchen of the Tourist Police told the Gazette that she was rescued around 5 pm. She explained that the Indonesian boat arrived in Phuket 12 hours later and that Ms Courteille was first taken to the fishermen’s accommodation in Pae Diok on Koh Sireh. Tourist Police officers later drove her to Bangkok Hospital Phuket for treatment for exposure and dehydration.

A former air hostess of Sabena Airlines and occasional professional translator, Ms Courteille is “a very lucky lady”, said Mr Neustifter, of Australia’s Gold Coast. “We’re looking at a living miracle,” he said. “It’s unbelievable.”

Ms Courteille managed to find something positive from her ordeal, telling friends that at night she had seen beautiful constellations. “You know, I was never afraid; I was sure that something [good] was going to happen.”

Dr Santi Lertnukkhid of BHP said, “She was in surprisingly good condition and was quite strong when she came in, considering that she has a history of congenital liver disease. This experience has been tough for her, but she survived.”

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

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



Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

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

Tourism

Phuket prepares to welcome first Chinese tourists in over 6 months

Maya Taylor

Published

on

Phuket prepares to welcome first Chinese tourists in over 6 months | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Jing Daily

The first group of tourists to arrive under Thailand’s new Special Tourist Visa scheme are expected to land in Phuket on October 8. The Bangkok Post reports that a flight from Guangzhou in southern China will carry 120 tourists, who will spend their first 14 days in alternative state quarantine. They are reported to be travelling under the government’s new STV.

Arrivals who do not pass the initial health screening will be transferred to specially chosen hospitals, as “Patients under Investigation”. Those who do pass the screening will be transported to alternative state quarantine once they’ve gone through immigration processing.

A Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration spokesperson says the resort islands of Phuket and Koh Samui will be the first to welcome travellers under the Special Tourist Via scheme. He pointed out that Guangzhou has not recorded any new cases of the Covid-19 virus for a prolonged period, meaning next week’s tourist arrivals are deemed “low risk”. His assertion is confirmed from the official figures at worldometer.info website recording world Covid-19 cases.

The CCSA reports that there will be a limit of 300 foreign tourists admitted each week, but this will be reviewed after the first phase of the re-opening. All arrivals will be subject to 14 day quarantine, although the Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn has suggested reducing this to 7 days eventually. The CCSA says they are not considering reducing the quarantine time at this stage.

Thiravat Hemachudha from the Thai Red Cross Emerging Infectious Disease Health Science Centre is not opposed to the idea.

“We can study this with foreign visitors who will arrive next month. During the 14 day quarantine they will be tested on the first, the seventh and the fourteenth day. If they are free of infections, we can shorten the quarantine to 7 days.”

However, not all are in agreement, with a doctor from Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University cautioning against any shortening of the quarantine period.

Meanwhile, Phuket governor, Narong Woonsiew, says the province is ready to welcome the new arrivals, with Covid-19 labs in place at Phuket airport, and officials due to carry out a full dress rehearsal today.

Thanit Sermkaew, chief of the Phuket Public Health Office, says over 1,200 rooms at 9 hotels have been chosen as alternative state quarantine properties, with a total of 73 hotels, providing over 5,800 rooms, applying for consideration.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Catch up with the latest daily “Thailand News Today” here on The Thaiger.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading

Phuket

Woman arrested for abandoning newborn baby on a bench in Phuket

Caitlin Ashworth

Published

on

Woman arrested for abandoning newborn baby on a bench in Phuket | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Siangtai/Newshawk Phuket

Police tracked down and arrested a Burmese woman who allegedly left her newborn baby on a bench in Phuket’s Patong area last week. The mother faces charges of abandoning a baby.

The newborn was left in a reusable shopping bag on a bench behind a Krungthai Bank branch. A woman in the area heard the baby crying and found the newborn in the bag along with a bottle of milk, diapers and clothing. Police reviewed surveillance camera footage shows a woman, police later identified as Ei Ei Phyu, leaving the bag on the bench.

Police say the woman gave birth on September 9 at a local hospital in Surat Thani’s Phun Phin district. Ei Ei allegedly took a van from Surat Thani to Phuket on September 22 and stayed with a friend in Patong. The early the next morning, she allegedly left her baby on the bench before boarding a bus back to Surat Thani.

Burmese workers in the Patong area told police Ei Ei used to work at a local Indian food restaurant before she moved to Surat Thani to work as a rubber tapper. Ei Ei allegedly told police she is not in the position to raise a child.

In earlier reports, police said the baby is healthy and does not appear to have any injuries.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading

Thailand

Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid

The Thaiger & The Nation

Published

on

Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid | The Thaiger

Phuket Provincial Police have arrested 6 people after finding large amounts of methamphetamine and other drugs during a raid. One suspect alone allegedly had 7.6 kilograms of crystal meth (ya ice) and over 12,500 methamphetamine pills (ya bah). 29 year old Surasak ‘Bank’ Wijit and 27 year old Panida ‘Mei’ Saeyang were arrested at an apartment car park in Soi Lookkaew, Moo 6, Rassada, in eastern Phuket, after they were found in possession of the drugs.

Police also found 2 mobile phones and a red Honda PCX, registered in Phuket, as evidence. Both suspects have been charged with posessing a Category 1 drug with the intent to sell.

Other suspects arrested at the same time include 36 year old from Chiang Rai, 42 year old Sarawut ‘An’ Srichanon, from Ranong and 31 year old Pornthep ‘Iew’ Thepchampa, who were charged with the same crimes in Chalong after police found more drugs in their possession. 33 year old Kamon ‘Kung’ Sae-ngow, was arrested as well after police found kratom juice and leaves at a house in Rassada. He was taken to Phuket City Police station and was charged with a Category 5 drug possession.

SOURCE:The Phuket News

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading
Similan Islands to reopen on October 15 with ‘new normal’ policy | The Thaiger
Tourism8 hours ago

Similan Islands to reopen on October 15 with ‘new normal’ policy

‘Bad Student’ group plan protest after alleged abuse at Sarasas school | The Thaiger
Bangkok9 hours ago

‘Bad Student’ group plan protest after alleged abuse at Sarasas school

Thailand News Today | Waiting for vaccine, new face of Thailand expats, teacher complaints | Oct 1 | The Thaiger
Video & Podcasts10 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Waiting for vaccine, new face of Thailand expats, teacher complaints | Oct 1

Travel agents push to end quarantine for tourists from countries at low risk for Covid-19 | The Thaiger
Tourism10 hours ago

Travel agents push to end quarantine for tourists from countries at low risk for Covid-19

Opening borders could cause a second Covid-19 outbreak, epidemiologist says | The Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 hours ago

Opening borders could cause a second Covid-19 outbreak, epidemiologist says

The Special Tourist Visa is now official and allows tourists in from October 1 | The Thaiger
Thailand11 hours ago

The Special Tourist Visa is now official and allows tourists in from October 1

Retiring army chief failed to fulfil promises of military reform after Korat mass shooting, critic says | The Thaiger
Thailand11 hours ago

Retiring army chief failed to fulfil promises of military reform after Korat mass shooting, critic says

Expat shift drives changes in Bangkok’s condo market | The Thaiger
Expats13 hours ago

Expat shift drives changes in Bangkok’s condo market

Buy a meal on a Thai Vietjet flight, get a 40% discount at a hotel | The Thaiger
Thailand14 hours ago

Buy a meal on a Thai Vietjet flight, get a 40% discount at a hotel

Suvarnabhumi Airport extension ready by April, capacity to increase by 15 million passengers | The Thaiger
Transport14 hours ago

Suvarnabhumi Airport extension ready by April, capacity to increase by 15 million passengers

Police confiscate 300 kilos of marijuana in central Thailand drugs bust | The Thaiger
Drugs15 hours ago

Police confiscate 300 kilos of marijuana in central Thailand drugs bust

More reports of alleged student abuse, parents file complaint against teacher | The Thaiger
Thailand15 hours ago

More reports of alleged student abuse, parents file complaint against teacher

Thai Airways to provide flights to some international destinations this month | The Thaiger
Business15 hours ago

Thai Airways to provide flights to some international destinations this month

Has Thailand’s suicide rate increased due to Covid-19 restrictions? – VIDEO | The Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)15 hours ago

Has Thailand’s suicide rate increased due to Covid-19 restrictions? – VIDEO

Elderly man rescued from top of high voltage power pole in Pattaya – VIDEO | The Thaiger
Pattaya16 hours ago

Elderly man rescued from top of high voltage power pole in Pattaya – VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Waiting for vaccine, new face of Thailand expats, teacher complaints | Oct 1 | The Thaiger
Video & Podcasts10 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Waiting for vaccine, new face of Thailand expats, teacher complaints | Oct 1

Thailand News Today | Phuket re-opens, TripAdvisor review saga, Samut Prakhan chem spill | Sept 30 | The Thaiger
Video & Podcasts1 day ago

Thailand News Today | Phuket re-opens, TripAdvisor review saga, Samut Prakhan chem spill | Sept 30

Thailand News Today | Visa amnesty extended, first STV tourists, teacher sacked | September 29 | The Thaiger
Video & Podcasts2 days ago

Thailand News Today | Visa amnesty extended, first STV tourists, teacher sacked | September 29

Thailand News Today | Rumours of amnesty extension, 22 new Covid cases | September 28 | The Thaiger
Thailand3 days ago

Thailand News Today | Rumours of amnesty extension, 22 new Covid cases | September 28

Thailand News Today | Emergency Decree, Parliamentary protest, Dark days for hotels | September 25 | The Thaiger
Thailand6 days ago

Thailand News Today | Emergency Decree, Parliamentary protest, Dark days for hotels | September 25

Thailand News Today | Visa amnesty, sealing Burmese border, Thai airways creditors | September 24 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Thailand News Today | Visa amnesty, sealing Burmese border, Thai airways creditors | September 24

Thailand News Today | Surachet sues, The Nude Panda | September 23 | The Thaiger
Video & Podcasts1 week ago

Thailand News Today | Surachet sues, The Nude Panda | September 23

Thailand News Today | Protesters face arrest | Phuket “in a coma”| September 22 | The Thaiger
Video & Podcasts1 week ago

Thailand News Today | Protesters face arrest | Phuket “in a coma”| September 22

Thailand News Today | Amnesty finishes, protest round-up | September 21, 2020 | The Thaiger
Video & Podcasts1 week ago

Thailand News Today | Amnesty finishes, protest round-up | September 21, 2020

Heavy rain, big protest tomorrow, special tourist visa | Thailand News Today | September 18 | The Thaiger
Video & Podcasts2 weeks ago

Heavy rain, big protest tomorrow, special tourist visa | Thailand News Today | September 18

Thailand News Today | Hotels wary, rain on the way | September 17, 2020 | The Thaiger
Video & Podcasts2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Hotels wary, rain on the way | September 17, 2020

Thailand News Today | New visa update, Dengue spike | September 16, 2020 | The Thaiger
Video & Podcasts2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | New visa update, Dengue spike | September 16, 2020

Thailand News Today | Another holiday, Business closures | September 15 | The Thaiger
Video & Podcasts2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Another holiday, Business closures | September 15

7.5 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico | The Thaiger
World3 months ago

7.5 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

Apple reveals new CarKey to unlock your car from your phone | The Thaiger
Technology3 months ago

Apple reveals new CarKey to unlock your car from your phone

Follow The Thaiger by email:

Trending