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Nine Brits safe after yacht set afire by lightning

PHUKET: A yacht with nine British nationals on board burned to the waterline and sank in Au Kung, off Phuket’s northeast coast, late yesterday afternoon (Nov 2).

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Sunday 4 November 2018, 04:38PM

The yacht, a Beneteau 50-ft sloop called Emmjay, caught fire at about 5pm.

Phuket Marine Chief Wiwat Chitchertwong confirmed that all nine on board were safely recovered by a passing fishing boat.

Chief Wiwat noted that he had been informed that the fire started after the yacht was hit by lightning.

No other details were released, though it was reported that Vice Governor Thanyawat Chanpinit has been assigned to follow upon the police investigation into the cause of the fire.


The Emmjay is openly listed as available for bareboat charter. A crew list provided to The Phuket News showed no Thai nationals on board at the time of yesterday’s fire.

The incident comes as Phuket officials and their superiors in Bangkok continue their campaign to convince Chinese tourists that Phuket is a safe holiday destination.

The campaign began after a huge plunge in bookings by Chinese tourists after the Phoenix tour disaster on July5 killed 47 Chinese tourists.



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BigA | 06 November 2018 - 09:21:30

Kurt you are right,it was either the cooking gas bottle or the extra  gasoline for the Dinghy! I got struck by lightning twice one time in Chalong and one time in Langkawi always through the Mast you loose all electronic and your wind instruments on the mast top are molded plastic. But off course you you need to be grounded,I wounder what the insurance has to say


Kurt | 05 November 2018 - 10:52:38

Car accidents because of brake failure or slippery road.  This is new, ships stern fire due to lightning, but during which not 1 of the 9 persons on board was hurt or died!
Seeing the photos, lightning didn't strike the mast ( highest point) but the stern of the vessel. ( location fuel storage/engine.). Guess not lightning but a ordinary fuel or gas line leaking explosion  happened.

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