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Koh Samui

The Raja 4 salvage operations completed after the ferry sank off Koh Samui on August 1

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Salvage operations have been completed for the Raja 4 car and passenger ferry which sank off the coast of Surat Thani, heading back from Koh Samui in the Gulf of Thailand, on August 1. 12 people drowned as a result of the sinking.

The ferry foundered and sank in a sudden weather front about 2 nautical miles from Koh Samui as it headed for the Don Sak pier on the mainland. There was poor weather, driving rain and waves up to 3 metres at the time, according to people on the ferry. The Raja 4 was carrying 16 people, four 10-wheel garbage trucks and a pick-up. 3 of the garbage trucks had already been salvaged along with their loads of compressed garbage compacted at the island before transport.

Of the 16 people on board at the time, 12 were eventually rescued and 4 drowned, including the captain of the ferry. Helicopters from the Army and Navy were used to assist in the search operations. The life rafts were deployed by crew at the time as the ferry started sinking but not all passengers were able to scramble onto them before it sank.

2 other ferries in the area at the time steamed to the scene and were able to rescue 9 of the passengers and crew. Another 3 were rescued in the days after, 2 were swimming to nearby Koh Taen and were rescued, both wearing life jackets.

One of the 2 men found floating in the waters near the deserted island says that when everyone on the ferry realised that the boat was going to sink they all put on lifejackets. He told police that he became separated from the rest of the passengers because he was caught on the other side of the boat when it started sinking. One of the rescued men told police that they were separated from the rest of the passengers because they were caught on the other side of the boat when it started sinking.

“The water swept me away from the ship very quickly. Later I saw the island and then tried to swim toward it.”

MS Service Company was contracted to salvage the Raja 4. The company used 2 crane barges to left the wreckage from the bottom of the Gulf of Thailand where it was resting on its side. After lifting, the water was pumped out and the vessel towed back to Koh Samui.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Koh Samui

Samui tourism official calls for inter-provincial travel ban to flatten the curve prior to July re-opening

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Yavor Punchev for Unsplash

The president of the Tourism Association of Koh Samui says the island is still pinning its hopes on a July 1 re-opening for vaccinated foreign tourists. Ratchaporn Poolsawadee remains optimistic, despite Thailand now battling a third wave of Covid-19, with Samui reporting 50 infections.

He says vaccines are being rolled out out on Samui, although a number of doses have had to be diverted to Covid hotspots elsewhere in the country. Around 30%, or 25,000 people, have already received 2 doses of the vaccine, with very few side-effects reported. However, the pace may slow as a result of some of Samui’s allocation now being sent to other provinces, in an attempt to curb the spread there. Ratchaporn says that once it receives a further supply of vaccine doses, the island has the capacity to administer 25,000 shots over 5 days, at 4 vaccination centres.

“We firmly believe that the vaccination process will be completed by June which will be in time for the re-opening plan.”

Until then, officials in the southern province of Surat Thani and on Samui itself, are strengthening disease prevention measures and travel restrictions. Ratchaporn is calling on the government to impose an inter-provincial travel ban to halt the spread of the virus. He says doing so would be more effective than closing businesses for 14 days, with the possibility of endless extensions.

The Bangkok Post reports that tourism operators are preparing tour programmes for the Samui Sealed Routes, whereby tourists would travel to sealed beach locations at Tham Rang in Angthong National Marine Park, as well as partaking in wellness activities such as yoga, meditation and spa treatments.

Before embarking on a “sealed tour” however, vaccinated foreign tourists would have to remain in their hotel rooms on the day they arrive. On day 2, they would be required to take a Covid test and, if negative, would be allowed leave the room and use other hotel facilities. From day 4, they would be allowed leave the hotel, with another Covid test on day 7. If the result is negative, tourists can travel around the island as well as elsewhere in the country.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

All foreigners eligible for Covid-19 vaccine under Thailand’s vaccination plan, eventually

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Stock photo by Vincent Vega on Flickr

All expats living in Thailand are eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, according to deputy spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Natapanu Nopakun. He says Thailand plans to roll out a “massive vaccination plan” to vaccinate all people who are living in Thailand, including foreign residents.

“All people residing in Thailand, regardless of nationality, are eligible to receive the vaccine under the plan.”

He made the announcement during the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration’s daily briefing today. Natapanu says more information on the vaccination plan for foreigners residing in Thailand will be released at a later date.

Health officials in Phuket and Koh Samui, tourist destinations that have been said to be of “economic significance,” have already been rolling out mass vaccination campaigns in an effort to reach herd immunity and reopen the islands to foreign tourists by July. But the vast majority of foreigners in the country remain confused about exactly how they can go about registering, or when they can expect to be included in Thailand’s vaccine roll out.

An expat who works as an English teacher at a school in Koh Samui says he received both doses of the Chinese-made Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine this month. He says the school helped with the registration process and both doses of Covid-19 vaccine were free.

 

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Expats

International Living magazine ranks Koh Samui among 15 best islands to retire

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Thailand’s popular Gulf island of Koh Samui is basking in glory as it is listed as one of the best islands to retire by International Living magazine. The island is ranked number 10 out of 15 islands listed by the magazine, and is said to be affordable for retirees. Peace, privacy, a simpler way of life and strong communities are also listed as some of its benefits.

The magazine detailed life on Koh Samui, pointing out the island’s world-class beaches…

“LYING ABOUT 425 MILES SOUTH OF THE COUNTRY’S CAPITAL, BANGKOK, KOH SAMUI HAS BECOME ONE OF THE MOST COVETED EXPAT DESTINATIONS IN THAILAND. ALTHOUGH ONLY 13 MILES WIDE AND OVER 15 MILES LONG, THE ISLAND IS THAILAND’S SECOND LARGEST ISLAND AFTER PHUKET.

KOH SAMUI BOASTS WORLD-CLASS BEACHES TUCKED AWAY IN SECLUDED BAYS…EXPANSIVE INLAND JUNGLES TEEMING WITH EXOTIC BIRDS, BUTTERFLIES, AND MONKEYS…MAGNIFICENT CASCADING WATERFALLS AND INLAND NATURAL POOLS…AND AN ALMOST COUNTLESS CHOICE OF GREAT SPOTS TO SIT DOWN, RELAX, AND WATCH THE SPECTACULAR SUNSETS OVER THE GULF OF THAILAND.

SAMUI, ONE OF AN ARCHIPELAGO OF 80 SMALLER ISLANDS, HAS A WARM AND MOSTLY CRYSTAL-CLEAR SEA WITH LOTS OF OPPORTUNITIES FOR KAYAKING, SAILING, AND BOATING. IT IS ALSO FAST BECOMING A GOLFER’S PARADISE.

THE ISLAND MAKES A GREAT DESTINATION FOR ANYONE LOOKING FOR A DREAM RETIREMENT BY THE SEA. YOU CAN LIVE WELL HERE ON A BUDGET OF US$2,000-2,500 A MONTH.”

Apart from the necessary documents needed, you can renew your retirement visa yearly without needing to go on a visa run or outside of the country, making the option convenient for those who may be unfit for sucFor information regarding a retirement visa, you can visit or contact a Thai embassy or consulate. Or a properly qualified visa agent.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

 

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