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Statement from Tiger Marine Charter Phuket

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Statement from Tiger Marine Charter Phuket | The Thaiger
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Following the incident over the weekend where a 70 foot charter yacht from Tiger Marine ended up stranded off Koh Phi, necessitating the Spanish tourists to swim over to another vessel to be taken back to shore, Tiger Marine have contacted The Thaiger (no connection) and asked us to post their response.

The original story HERE.

Here’s the Tiger Marine letter of response…

It has been widely reported by Thai TV and the press regarding our incident on one of our boats near the Phi Phi Islands on Saturday, September 15.

We would like to put the story right as we have been receiving some facetious remarks .

First of all, I would like to report that at no time was our boat, crew or passengers in any danger whatsoever.

SHANGANI was on a 6 day, 5 night charter when she was on her way back from Phi Phi to Phuket in the afternoon of Saturday, September 15.

On September 11, when the charter began, the weather was good, and there were no government warnings. It was September 15 when this incident occurred. The warnings were issued on September 16 but we were already on our early return journey to back to Phuket on 15th as we knew the weather would be bad on the 16th.

The seas were not smooth but perfectly OK for a boat of this size.

The boat suffered dual engine failure a few miles off Phi Phi due to contaminated fuel, which left it motionless at sea. The engines are brand new.

Attempts by the crew to restart the engines were fruitless and passing boats just took photos and videos of the boat instead of offering help, despite the fact that our crew let off flares, which signals request for help.
Phone and radio signals was disrupted due to the weather circumstances, hard downpours and strong wind at the time.

Our crew and a couple of our passengers took the ship’s large dingy to Phi Phi to search for a tow back.

This was achieved with the help of the headman of Tonsai bay.

The passengers themselves wanted to get off the boat and go back to shore as it was uncomfortable on the big boat due to uncomfortable seas and it was their decision to leave our boat and board the rescue speedboat.

Due to the sea state the small boat could not raft up to the big boat. It was the customers themselves that wanted to transfer by the method they did, and did not come with the crews recommendation.

Rightly or wrongly the transfer was successfully made although I reiterate that there was NO danger staying on board albeit uncomfortable.

The movies taken from the passing boats was what was released to the press and incorrectly described.

Our 14 passengers reached Phi Phi a short while later where we had already booked their rooms ready for check-in at the Cabana hotel. The rescue boat then went back and towed our boat back to Tonsai bay.
Safety is our main priority, and having achieved their safe arrival onto land, we then organized their luggage to be delivered to their hotel. All guests came back to Phuket by ferry the next day (Sunday, September 16)

We met them at the ferry and took them to our Villa in Surin for a sumptuous lunch and listened to their comments and concerns in an apologetic manner.

Lovely people and my description above is their words.

By the afternoon when we transported them to the airport for their journeys back to their homeland we were all solid friends with hugs and fond farewells and invites to Spain and their wishes to return and for another charter with us when their time permits.

They had nothing bad to say and left as happy returning tourists. We have been thanked profusely for the way we handled it all.

They were Spanish from the Grand Canaries and love Thailand. The leader of their group is a Boeing 787 Captain with Air Europe. We have been in contact with the Spanish consulate in Bangkok regarding the safe arrival of all guest back home.

To sum up the situation, incidences sometimes happen at sea, and providing for the safety for our passengers is our utmost priority. A successful outcome was achieved.

The fuel contamination problem is being sorted out and the boat will return to Phuket soon.

Sincerely

Duangjai Meejanphat
Director
TIGER MARINE CHARTER

Statement from Tiger Marine Charter Phuket | News by The Thaiger

Statement from Tiger Marine Charter Phuket | News by The Thaiger

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Phuket

Phuket’s annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket’s annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Marina Krasnopolska

WARNING! Content below contains photos of self-mutilation that some may find disturbing.

The flags on Go Teng poles were lowered on Monday, ending Phuket’s annual Vegetarian Festival and symbolising that the spirits have returned the heavens. The flags are raised at the start of the festivities each year at participating shrines, calling on the spirits to descend from the heavens.

This year, 2 men were electrocuted while taking down the festival flags. A steel pole with the flag touched a power pole, electrocuting and burning the workers as they were trying to lower the flags. They were taken to the hospital.

During the festival’s street processions and ceremonies so-called “mah songs” channel the descended spirits. They enter a trance-like state and many practice self-mutilation to channel the spirits. “Mah” means horse in Thai, and some say the mah song acts as a horse for the spirit to ride.

Some mah song pierce their cheeks and other parts of their body with steel spikes and sometimes swords or other bizarre choices (we’ve seen petrol pumps, javelins, samurai swords and kitchen utensils). During the street procession, they walk for hours with the self-inflicted piercings, seemingly posessed by ‘spirits’ and muttering all sort of strange chants, verging on mild cases of Tourette syndrome. A team of devotees for each mah song wipe away blood and keep the wounds clean. Some mah songs even slice their tongue for the street procession. Blood drips on their chest and the ground. Waiting bystanders line the streets hoping for the blessing of a passing mah song. Some mah songs carry a black flag.

The event is an annual spiritual ‘cleansing’ for those in watching the processions. Onlookers lining the street bow their heads and place their hands in the “wai” position as the mah song waves flags and banners over their heads. Businesses along the procession route often set up an altar outside their shop and mah songs stop at each one to do a short ritual.

The Phuket government gave the festival organisers the “okay” to hold this years event with hopes that it would increase domestic tourism and generate much-needed revenue after the Thai government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic crippled Phuket’s tourist economy. Before this year’s festival, Phuket City Mayor Somjai Suwansupana asked that the mah songs “limit the level of torturing.” He also called for a limit on the number of people at ceremonies to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

His calls were largely ignored.

The spirits will again return in 2021 to Phuket again cleanse the island’s large Thai-Chinese community.

Photos of the 2020 Vegetarian Festival by Marina Krasnopolska.

Phuket's annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | News by The ThaigerPhuket's annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | News by The ThaigerPhuket's annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | News by The ThaigerPhuket's annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | News by The ThaigerPhuket's annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | News by The ThaigerPhuket's annual Vegetarian Festival lowers flags, spirits return to the heavens | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Phuket

Phuket told to prepare “response plan” in case of second Covid-19 outbreak

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket told to prepare “response plan” in case of second Covid-19 outbreak | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Daily News

As Phuket awaits foreign tourists, city officials are told to prepare a “response plan” in case of a second wave of Covid-19. An official from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports held a workshop in Phuket today to discuss the risk of another outbreak as the country opens up to those on the Special Tourist Visa.

The ministry’s permanent secretary Chote Trachu says now that the country is allowing tourists (who are required to quarantine upon arrival) an infection “may somehow slip through.” He says a response plan needs to be in place in case this happens, adding that there should be corporation from the Ministry of Public Health and Ministry of Defense.

“If any tourists are found to be infected, the disease must not be allowed to spread among the people. There should be no panic, and public health officers will investigate the case. Tourist Police will track down the suspected person in an investigation with the Ministry of Public Health.”

Chote says all provinces – not just Phuket – should have a response plan. Although tourists must go through a mandatory 14 day quarantine upon arrival, Chote says there are some cases where the incubation period for Covid-19 is longer than 14 days.

“There are a variety of cases. Sometimes, the infection does not show after 14 days, or even 15 or 16 days. Each situation is different.”

Recently, a woman in Koh Samui tested positive for the coronavirus 5 days after she was released from a Samut Prakan quarantine facility. Traces of the virus were found on gym equipment the woman used at the quarantine, leading health officials to suspect she was infected before arriving to the island.

“We urge Thai people to not let their guard down. Everyone must wear masks, wash their hands and take care of personal hygiene. This will help prevent them from contracting the disease.”

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Business

Approval sought for multi-billion-baht Phuket medical hub

Maya Taylor

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Approval sought for multi-billion-baht Phuket medical hub | The Thaiger
Mai Khao beach in north Phuket - PHOTO: www.makemytrip.com

Industry officials are seeking the go-ahead for a project to transform over 140 rai of government land in Phuket into a world-leading medical hub. The project is budgeted at 3 – 4 billion baht, depending on which report you read. Kitkong Tantijaraswarodom, from the Federation of Thai Industries, believes the development of a medical and wellness hub in the sub-district of Mai Khao, north Phuket, will help revive the southern island’s battered economy. Phuket has become increasingly reliant on a steady flow of tourists over the past 2 decades.

The southern division of the FTI covers Phuket, Krabi, Phang Nga, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Trang, Patthalung, Surat Thani, Ranong, Satun, Chumphon, and Songkhla.

“The FTI will ask the government to green-light the project during the scheduled mobile cabinet meeting on the island on November 3.”

Kitkong says businesspeople in the south are anxious for the government to approve the project, which will provide both locals and foreign medical tourists with state-of-the-art medical care. The facility is expected to include long-term care, hospice and rehabilitation services, in addition to a dental hospital, sports therapy centre, and a medical training school for doctors, nurses, pharmacists and medical laboratory scientists.

The chair of the FTI’s southern chapter is also calling on officials to provide small and medium-sized businesses with additional support, in the form of access to loans, in order to deal with cash shortages.

“In the short term, the FTI wants the government to help SMEs, especially those in the tourism sector.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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