Revealing the confident prediction to The Phuket News and about 60 other representatives from the media from Bangkok and Phuket at the Phuket Deep Sea Port at Cape Panwa at 10am today (Nov 14) was Tanapat Hemanggon of Seacrest Marine Co Ltd.**
“Today, the weather is good and there is no rain,” Mr Tanapat said.
“The waves are small, not big, it is fine for working,” he added.
“Our experts expect that this is a good sign for the salvage operation. Today we have over 100 staff from Seacrest Marine installing the tethers underwater and the 1,200-tonne, 100-metre-long floating crane accompanied by a 34-metre-long tugboat is being put in place,” Mr Tanapat said.
In raising the Phoenix, Mr Tanapat explained, “First, the boat will be lifted about 80 centimetres straight up from the sea bed, and then we will turn the boat so it is the right way up.
“After that, we will raise the boat by just 50cm to test the resistance, and only then will we gradually float it to the surface,” he said.
“The whole process of raising the boat will take around two hours,” Mr Tanapat noted.
However, Royal Thai Police Deputy Commander Gen Rungroj Saengkram, also present today, said that he expected the project to take five days before investigators can inspect the wreck.
“Then we can start the investigation. We will inspect the ship’s structure to see if the construction was conducted properly or not,” he said.
“Experts will examine the vessel and this information will be used in court,” he added.
Meanwhile, Immigration Chief Maj Gen Surachet Hakparn, also present in Phuket today for the Phoenix media event, said, “All efforts have been made by all sectors to salvage the boat. The Marine Department has tried to have the boat salvaged, even though the last time it was not successful.”
** Sea Crest Marine Co Ltd has now been confirmed the new salvage operator hired to raise the Phoenix – not “Sea Quest Marine” as previously reported by the Phuket Governor and other high-ranking officials. Of note, Sea Crest Marine Thailand operates out of Samut Prakarn, not Singapore, also as previously consistently reported by senior officials, although Sea Crest marine has a major office in Singapore.