Phuket Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana announced the news today (Nov 13) at a meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall.
“A 1,200-tonne,100-metre-long floating crane accompanied by a 34-metre-long tugboat has already arrived Krabi province,” Gov Phakaphong explained earlier today.
The boat and crane were to arrive in Phuket after 3pm this afternoon, he said.
However, as of 6pm this evening, The Phuket News had yet to confirm that the boat and crane had arrived.
After the wreck is lifted to the surface, it will be taken to Ratanachai shipyard in the Tha Jeen Canal, on the east side of Phuket Town, Gov Phakaphong reiterated.
“The Phuket Marine Office, police and experts will inspect the boat,” he said.
Gov Phakaphong again confirmed that the company previously contract to salvage the Phoenix, Spitz Tech Co Ltd, has cancelled its agreement with the Phuket Marine Office to recover the wreck.
“A new company named Seaquest Marine has sent the divers into the area,” he said.
“Representatives of the Marine Department are not present at this meeting, but information of the salvage will be revealed soon,” Governor Phakaphong added.
“Tomorrow, Maj Gen Surachet Hakpan will inspect the site of the wreck and check the process of salvage,” he said.
Materials for the new salvage team have arrived at Phuket Deep Sea Port, and divers from Seaquest Marine arrived to inspect the site last Friday (Nov 9). (See story here.)
Marine Department has issued a notice ordering all vessels to stay clear of the salvage area for safety – all day and all night – from today (Nov 13) through Thursday (Nov 15).
The salvage site was given as 7º42'14.6" North, 98º23'06.9" East. (Click here.)
The Phoenix sank 1.5 nautical miles off Koh Hei in storm conditions on July 5 in a disaster that killed 47 Chinese tourists.
Previous attempts to move the boat either failed entirely or achieved little success, with the first attempt in late September managing to move the boat only about 400 meters from where it sank before a tether broke. (See story here.)