Yacht Burns And Sinks. Four Missing, Feared Dead

AO CHALONG: Four people are missing and feared dead after a fire erupted aboard a yacht anchored in Phuket’s Chalong Bay in the early hours of March 25. Phuket Marine Police said the fire broke out just before 1 am aboard the 160-foot motor yacht, which they named as the Catarina. Vessels from the Phuket Marine Police, Harbour Region 5 and the Royal Thai Navy Third Fleet battled the blaze. However, because of the 20,000 litres of fuel carried aboard the Malaysian-owned, Honduras-registered vessel, the fire could not be extinguished and the boat sank at about 6 am. Aboard the Catarina were eight Thais. Four are missing. Police named them as Apichart Buapa, 40, from Khon Kaen; his young son Bank; a Mr Sanit, 45, and a Mr Sathaporn, 30, both from Bangkok. The remaining four, including the skipper, named by police as Chavalit Rojanarat, escaped unhurt. From talking with survivors, the police believe the fire may have started in the engine room. Salvage teams are working to raise the yacht from the floor of the bay in order to help police in their investigations. It is understood that the yacht was launched just weeks ago at the Ratanachai boatyard.

Phuket News
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