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Hopes in major Phoenix salvage move fall short

PHUKET: Hopes that the operation to recover the sunken ‘Phoenix’ tour boat would see the wreck moved to the halfway point from where it can be floated to the surface fell short today (Oct 30) as the salvage team managed to move the boat only 40 metres.

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By Tavee Adam

Tuesday 30 October 2018, 06:52PM


The salvage team from Spitz Tech Co Ltd, which has been contracted by the government to recover the Phoenix, attempted a major operation to move the boat starting at 11am today, Wiwat Chitchertwong, Acting Director of the Phuket Marine Office, told The Phuket News.

The attempt today aimed to moved the boat halfway to where it will be refloated in waters only 25 metres deep.

However, the team encountered problems with the ballast balloons used to lift the boat off the seabed, Mr Wiwat explained to The Phuket News late this afternoon.

“The boat was moved only 40 metres today,” he said.

“The team will make adjustments to the floats and continue the project to move the boat (while the wreck is still completely submerged) tomorrow,” he added.

“We expect to have the boat in position to float it to the surface in one to two more days,” Mr Wiwat said.

ARCHITECT and HOTELEX

“Once the boat is in position, in waters only 25m deep, the team will attempt to float it to the surface,”
he repeated.

Mr Wiwat noted that hopes are still high to have the Phoenix floated by this weekend.

“We expect that the Phoenix will be on land in the next two to three days,” he said.

Once the Phoenix has been recovered, it will be taken to the Rattanachai shipyard in Rassada so that investigators can inspect the wreck.

The Phoenix sank 1.5 nautical miles off Koh Hei in storm conditions on July 5 in a disaster that killed 47 Chinese tourists.

 

 

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Kurt | 06 November 2018 - 14:27:19

Wow, finally confirmed that lifting a wreck is different from dragging it a bit to make money. In hands of police now? Than the Phoenix will never lifted. What a face blow to thai authorities who did give the salvage in hands of incompetent people. Are they paid for not doing the salvage? Leave the wreck there as a scuba dive destination ( if the present location  depth is less than 40 metres)

Rorri_2 | 06 November 2018 - 11:56:12

Lastest news, the salvage company has cancelled the contract and walked away, the Thai police are now in charge.

Kurt | 31 October 2018 - 11:10:43

If you can't lift from depth 45 metres, what make you think you can lift it from 25 metres?
Oh Yes, on July 5th there was no 'storm condition'. There was a strong wind, and wave conditions were not that bad either. The problems of this ships disaster was due to incompetence crew or not sea worthiness Phoenix, or both. But that we will never hear from Officials after Phoenix survey.

Rorri_2 | 31 October 2018 - 05:53:41

Hopelessly incompetent. 

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