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Last body from Phuket tour boat disaster recovered, brought ashore

PHUKET: After days of attempts by an international team of divers and an expert Chinese salvage salvage crew, the last body trapped under the wreck of the Phoenix tour boat was recovered today (July 15) and brought ashore to Phuket just before 9pm.

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By The Phuket News

Sunday 15 July 2018, 11:50PM


Chinese Ambassador to Thailand Lyu Jian expresses his thanks for the huge effort in recovering the body of the last Chinese tourist from the Phoenix tour boat disaster. Photo: PR Dept

Chinese Ambassador to Thailand Lyu Jian expresses his thanks for the huge effort in recovering the body of the last Chinese tourist from the Phoenix tour boat disaster. Photo: PR Dept

The body, by Phuket officials accounts to be the last missing person from the Phoenix disaster, was brought ashore by the Royal Thai Navy ship HTMS Luang Thonglang at the Phuket Deep Sea Port at 8:50pm.

Present to witness the event were Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong and Chinese Ambassador to Thailand Lyu Jian, and Zhou Haicheng, who as the Chinese Consul-General in Songkhla is the the lead Chinese government representative for all Southern Thailand.

Also present were Deputy Director-General of the Department of Consular Affairs of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Chen Xiongfeng, Vice Admiral Somnuk Preampramot, Commander of the Royal Thai Navy Third Area Command and Phuket Provincial Police Commander Maj Gen Teeraphol Thipjaroen.

Amb Lyu thanked the Thai Government, and all the divers and support teams.

One minute’s silence was observed.

“All the people who lost loved ones can now find closure. Our deepest condolences to those who lost loved ones and those injured in the incident, we can now bring an end to this sadness,” Amb Lyu said.

“And in the Chinese government sought cooperation from the Thai government on the investigation into the cause of this incident, we ask to be lawful and bring justice. I would like to make this a lesson that will lead to strengthening good relationship for tourism development between Thailand and China, to build confidence among Chinese tourists on safety measures in tourism,” he added.

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On behalf of the Government of Thailand, Governor Norraphat said that thanks to the cooperation in the search for dead bodies and victims of this incident, both the Chinese government, Thai officials in all sectors. As a 3rd sector navy, water police engaged both private and volunteer divers.

“This operation was difficult in the depths with the currents and strong winds. There was risk, but all those involved have shown their committment throughout the past 11 days until the operation was successful. Thank you for all the parties involved,” he said.

In details, the body was recovered by the teams at 6:30pm.

The body was taken Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket Town for confirmation of identity, despite being the 47th and according to officials’ estimates the last missing person believed to be missing from the Phoenix since it sank on July 5.

Additonal reporting by Eakkapop Thongtub

 

 

 

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Discover Thainess | 16 July 2018 - 02:36:01

Huge respect to all those involved in the rescue and recovery operation, must be horrendous for everyone. I am proud to call at least two of the divers my friends. Great job guys, you are all amazing.

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