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Phuket yachties in dramatic boat rescue from sea wall

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PHUKET: A handful of brave members at Phuket’s Ao Chalong Yacht Club (ACYC) scrambled to save a French expat’s yacht from smashing into the sea wall in front of the clubhouse this morning.

The onslaught of strong waves saw the 30-foot yacht break free from its anchor at about 11am, sending the boat pitching dangerously toward the sea wall (map here).

As the boat came within a few feet of the concrete barrier, Bruce Issell of the well-known DaVinci catamaran climbed on board to steer the vessel clear from danger.

“Other local expat yachties Gareth, Gunter Knutt and Billy Duif jumped into the water to fend the yacht off the wall,” Phuket expat and long-term ACYC member Bob Mott told the Phuket Gazette.

“They were assisted by Khun Cha and a Burmese man, On Cho, who we all know as ‘A.K.’,” he said.

The volunteers struggled for an hour before finally clearing the yacht of danger.

“The yacht came close, but never actually touched the sea wall,” Mr Mott said.

The boat is now safe.

“They managed to get it clear from the wall and it will be moved out further into the bay when the weather calms down,” Mr Mott explained.

The heavy seas continued to batter other boats in what is usually the safe haven of Chalong Bay, and the floating pier in front of the ACYC appears to have broken apart.

The Gazette has received unconfirmed reports that one boat has become jammed against Chalong Pier (map here) and has taken damage from another boat being repeatedly pitched against it by the strong waves.

 

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