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Chinese fishing boats abandoned in Phuket catch fire

Chinese fishing boats abandoned in Phuket catch fire

PHUKET: Five Chinese-flagged commercial fishing boats left abandoned in Phuket more than 10 years ago caught fire while moored off Laem Nga Cape in Rassada, north of Phuket Town, yesterday (Mar 18).

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Friday 19 March 2021, 09:38AM

Rassada firefighters were called to the scene at about 10am.

The boats damaged by the fire together were identified as the Yue Xia Yu 90023, and four boats named Zhanyuan Yu with the suffixes 829, 814, 815 and 811, 

Two of the boats suffered damage “of about 50%”, while the other three were damaged “only 20%”, officers reported.

The fire did not result in any oil spill, officials confirmed.

Nachaphong Pranit, Director of Phang Nga Marine Department office, and who is also currently serving as Acting Director of the Phuket Marine Department office, explained that all five boats were abandoned in the fishing port area more than 10 years ago.

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The Marine Department has filed a formal complaint to press charges against the owners of the boats for illegally entering Thai waters, Mr Nachaphong said.

However, despite querying relevant agencies such as Customs, Immigration, port control authorities, among others, Phuket City Police have been unable to identify the owners of the boats, he added.

“None of them have information about the ships, but Phuket Customs House informed us that they found a report about the Zhanyuan Yu 814 ship which confirmed it is a Chinese-registered ship,” he said.

“If the police do learn who the owner of the ships are, they can continue with their investigation,” Mr Nachaphong said.

“At this stage, the Marine Department is filing a request for the budget to have the ships destroyed,” he concluded.

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Kurt | 20 March 2021 - 08:46:46

Probably these 'fishing wrecks' are so much polluted that when you sink them the marine environment will be polluted in a large range around it for many years.

charles | 19 March 2021 - 21:48:25

Dive shipwrecks would be useful to local dive industry  

Kurt | 19 March 2021 - 10:43:42

Abadoned vessels, 10 years! 10 Years!!! And all the time relevant Thai officialdom didn't find out who are the owners? Who believes that? Sounds to be a fine kick back case. ( if not, incompetence grins at you)  But real happiness is in the tail, a fine 'budget' for destroying the vessels.


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