Seized tuna trawler catches fire on Phuket’s east coast

PHOTO: Achadtaya Chuenniran

Last night a fire was reported to the Phuket Police around 9:30pm on an old tuna trawler I (1 of the 7 unregistered fishing trawlers seized 3 years ago) along the mangrove forest on the island’s east coast.

When emergency units arrived at the scene, the vessel was completely engulfed in flames 100 metres away from the Asia Marina pier in Tambon Ratsada (northeast of Phuket Town). The blaze also threatened to spread to other large vessels nearby.

2 local fishing boats and a patrol boat were used to extinguish the flames. It took them about two hours before the fire was under control.

Firefighters say “although the boat has a steel hull and no equipment on board, it was fitted with wood and fibreglass, causing it to burn quickly. No one was reported to be on the boat at the time.”

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Seized tuna trawler catches fire on Phuket's east coast | News by Thaiger

The fishing trawler is one of seven fishing vessels seized on November 28, 2016 in Thai waters off the coast of Phuket for illicit, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) violations.

Shun Lai, Yutana No. 3, Abubant 1, Abuba 3, Abuba 6, Abuba 9 and Abubant 12 were the names of the boats.

Authorities found that the registration of these boats, which appeared to be flagged in Bolivia, had paperwork irregularities. The authorities of Bolivia said at the time that the trawlers were never licensed, leading the Royal Thai Navy to intervene and seize the boats. Two of the boats managed to flee before authorities were eventually able to secure them and arrest the crews.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post / Phuket News

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My name is Anukul, I a writer for the Thaiger, I specialise in translation articles and social media, and assisting with our video production. I previously worked at Phuket Gazette and attended BIS international school in Phuket.

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