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Family of three missing after barge sinks off Koh Tao

SURAT THANI: The search continued today (Dec 1) for a family of three missing since their cargo barge was swamped by wind-whipped seas and sank about 10 nautical miles off Koh Tao yesterday night (Nov 30).

accidents, marine, transport, weather,

Bangkok Post

Thursday 1 December 2016, 01:00PM

A man and two children are among eight people rescued from barges swamped by wind-whipped seas in Surat Thani. Photo: Supapong Chaolan
A man and two children are among eight people rescued from barges swamped by wind-whipped seas in Surat Thani. Photo: Supapong Chaolan

The missing mother, father and three-year-old child were on the barge when it capsized shortly after a wave reported to be five metres high hit six vessels sheltering behind an offshore gas drilling platform between Koh Tao in Surat Thani’s Koh Phangnan district and Ao Lang Suan and a bay in Luang Suan district of Chumphon.

The six vessels, two tug boats and four barges carrying rubberwood chips, had left Tapee River in Surat Thani’s Muang district to deliver their cargo to a factory in Chachoengsao’s Bang Pakong district, said Wassana Saithongkham, a crew member of one of the tugs.

Ms Wassana alerted Koh Tao rescue centre about the incident, requesting help around 8pm yesterday.

“On the way, we heard the Meteorological Department’s weather forecast, warning that there would be strong waves. We tried to seek shelter near Koh Tao, but the ropes attached to the third barge were suddenly torn off," Ms Wassana said.

“Only two of the barges were still attached to the tug boats, leaving the other two barges alone in the sea. The fourth barge was hit by a powerful wave and then sank. The missing family was on that barge,” she said.

At around 9:30pm a rescue team found and saved five people, two adults and three children, found floating in the sea. With the waves running as high as 4-5m, and strong winds, the search was then called off. It resumed today.

An air force plane searched the area this morning but failed to find any sign of the missing people, Surat Thani governor Ouaychai Innak said. The navy’s Second Fleet, based in Songkhla, sent a patrol ship to sea to join in the search.

The Meteorological Department’s forecast yesterday night was for wind-whipped waves 2-3m high in the Gulf of Thailand from Surat Thani southward. Small boats were advised to remain ashore.

Read original story here.



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Pauly44 | 06 December 2016 - 07:59:33

Totally agree Rorii, these "3 stooges" seem to have a case of Kurt bashing regardless of his comments most of which I find valid & logical although he can go over the top sometimes with too many, it's becoming all too predictable. Also there is a fine line when bringing your kids to work with regards to safety vs necessity, as swerve & Joe 12 tend to " think like a Thai" I suppose it would be understandable for you if I bring my daughter to the construction site? in this instance there was a clear lack of common sense as a family went missing, please don't attempt to defend that decision.

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Joe12 | 05 December 2016 - 19:47:49

Rorii...In my piece, if you have any idea of the English Language, that is what the word "many" means. It does not refer to exclusivity or quantified in any way. 

Kurt is clearly not correct as you suggest, hence my comment about what the rest of the world's population does and my own examples and experiences. I also found it an affront to women who are raising children to label and demean them in such a manner, so if you think anyone has the right to do that, then I have a right of reply. His comments were clear and unequivocal so there can be no misinterpreting as you wrongly suggest.

I relish reasoned comment. Sorry can't find a TV program about the Three Stooges. 

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Rorii | 05 December 2016 - 16:39:48

Joe12, what you say is correct "Many Thai's bring their children to work as do many women in other countries throughout the world, with employers providing creches" however there are far more who don't, even in Thailand, many more leave their kids with family or friends.

Here kurt is referring the Thais not seeing the dangers, in the work place, that could hard/kill their offspring.

ematt, if you push for "Thai thinking" here is the definition of "thinking"

the process of considering or reasoning about something.

using thought or rational judgement; intelligent.

Clearly kurt is correct, as these parents showed none of the above.

ematt, swerv, and Joe12, your continued attacks on kurt show that perhaps you 3 also suffer from a lack of thinking.
All 3 seem to attack kurt by misinterpreting what he says, and totally, and childishly, ignoring that English is not his native tongue, there was a TV series, years ago, called The Three Stooges, look it up.

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Joe12 | 03 December 2016 - 20:17:52 have failed to answer swerve's pertinent question, which is from a Thai perspective rather than Eurocentric. 

Many Thai's bring their children to work as do many women in other countries throughout the world, with employers providing creches. I actually support a single mother in Chiang Mai, who takes her pre-school child to work with her, not out of necessity but as a duty as a mother. The child is no more vulnerable to dying from a natural or unnatural event as the demise of child in the article. 

I regularly took my children and now grandchildren sailing in all weather and cross oceans as do many other yachties. 

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swerv | 03 December 2016 - 15:31:27

Kurt: I see you do not get out and about much. Thai parents, normally the mother, take their kids with them to work ( if they are not in school). Shops, restaurants, building sites, offices etc. It is normal practice here if there is no one to take care of the kids.

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ematt | 03 December 2016 - 12:01:17

Kurt continues his campaign against "Thai thinking". Really Kurt, what country do you think this is? And one wonders, why in the world did you move here? 

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Kurt | 02 December 2016 - 15:05:05

Khun Swerv: do not react funny just for the sake of reacting.
Your reaction is as brainless as of that other thai people who brought their kids on board of work barges.

Your very thai question: you expect the families to leave their kids home?..  shows something is missing in your thai thinking.
Are thai people working in shops, banks, offices, shopping centers,  bring their kids with them when they go to work? NO!
Bringing thai kids, as I see on hospital bed( photo.) on a work barge is a act of being or dumb or criminal.
The clear fact that still people ( including kids) are missing and perhaps already death, proves the idiotism to bring them on board such barges at any circumstances.

Khun Swerv, think a bit more rational first before you react on other readers comment.

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Pauly44 | 02 December 2016 - 10:55:07

If these families had any knowledge of the impending dangerous sea conditions then without question they are DUMB for taking their kids out on them and for leaving sheltered waters at all.

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swerv | 02 December 2016 - 07:49:37

Kurt: What do you expect the families to do, leave their kids alone?
You are the one who is dumbd...although that should be dumb.

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Kurt | 01 December 2016 - 14:21:11

What are families with children doing on work barges during predicted and existing weather conditions?

Why is the thai government allowing children on working barges anyway?
Where are the 'laws', and if no safety laws, where are the brains?
All so dumbd.

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