BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET
Oak Maedow Phuket BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search


Phoenix, stranded and forgotten two years later

Phoenix, stranded and forgotten two years later

PHUKET: Two years after the Phoenix tour boat overturned and sank in storm conditions south of Phuket, killing 47 Chinese tourists in Thailand’s worst maritime disaster in modern times, the recovered wreck remains at Rattanachai Shipyard on the east side of Phuket Town, alone and forgotten.

marinetourismdisastersChinesedeathSafetypolice
By The Phuket News

Monday 6 July 2020, 06:03PM


Preecha Jaiart, who bought the Phoenix wreck at auction from the Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo) in August last year, told The Phuket News that will conduct a merit-making ceremony later this week to honour those who died in the disaster, which also included the death of 37-year-old Thai diver Niphat ‘Joch’ Kludnak, who collapsed and died after surfacing from a dive to the wreck some 45 metres below the surface.

The death of Mr Niphat brought the total number of people who died as a result of the disaster to 48.

The wreck remains at Rattanachai Shipyard, Mr Preecha confirmed today in a brief conversation with The Phuket News.

He noted that no one had approached him to buy the wreck, but declined to answer further questions, explaining that he is spending time with his family this long weekend for the Asarnha Bucha and Khao Phansa Buddhist religious holidays.

Mr Preecha, who operates the Truck2hand.com website for selling secondhand heavy vehicles, including trucks, buses, vans and boats, bought the Phoenix wreck at auction from the Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo) for B905,000 with the aim of restoring the boat and sending it back to the bottom of the sea where it originally sank as an underwater memorial.

 

However, Mr Preecha soon encountered a wall of bureaucracy preventing him from doing so. He has yet to reveal what his current plans for the wreck entail.

The sinking of the Phoenix spelled disaster for Thailand’s tourism public image worldwide as images of bodies being recovered and Chinese tourists still in shock and grief spun around the globe on social media, far beyond the influence of the Thai authorities to control.

Phuket Property

Bookings by Chinese tourists to travel to Thailand plunged by more than 20% in the month after the disaster. Cancellations in Phuket were much higher.

Following the disaster on July 5, 2018, raids led to the discovery that the operators of the boat had laundered more than B1 billion. This led to the seizure of operators’ assets, which were auctioned off by the Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo).

Royal Thai Police Deputy Commander Gen Rungroj Sangkram, who was tasked with overseeing the investigation into the disaster, stood by his assurances that two officials at the Ship Standard Registration Bureau in Bangkok would face charges for their part in allowing the Phoenix to be approved to be put to sea.

However, Gen Rungroj declined to give details about any prosecutions conducted as a result of the police investigation.

The police investigation report was never made public.

“The police investigation into the Phoenix is completed. We did our job. Our job is done,” Gen Rungrote said last year.

Immediately following the disaster, the Phuket Marine Office Chief at the time, Surat Sirisaiyat, was transferred to the post of Acting Chief of the Ayutthaya Marine Office.

In turn, the Chief of the Ayutthaya Marine Office, Wiwat Chitchertwong, was transferred to Director of the Phuket Marine Office, where he remains today.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

CAPTCHA

Kurt | 06 July 2020 - 21:55:45

It seems that the seizure of operators assets, auctioned by Almo was the most important happeningof everything. Money, as usual.Where did that money go? What happend to the 2 corrupt Officials of Ship Standard Registration Bureau Bangkok? Sacked/ fined/ in prison? These 2 actually allowed the Phoenix going certified sailing at sea.

Kurt | 06 July 2020 - 21:42:56

The Phoenix wreck 'restored' and sinking it where it was lifted? At depth to deep for recreational scuba diving. What a sickening idea is that. For what pupose? And why was the investigation police report never made public in this open minded transparent democratic country? What to hide or cover up?

 

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Thai Chamber of Commerce seeks visa amnesty for tourists

I regularly visit a small 'western orientated' restaurant in Chalong. It typically has 4/5 c...(Read More)


Sunken Samui ferry to be raised this weekend

Big safety words of a deputy minister who doesn't know anything about 'seamanship'. As l...(Read More)


Watana sentenced to 99 years in jail, allowed bail

With a ticket for 50 years in thai jail in his pocket, but out on bail ( why, even with appeal succe...(Read More)


Thai Chamber of Commerce seeks visa amnesty for tourists

Well, it seems there is at least 1 Thai Office were the lights are on, and the brains are working. ....(Read More)


Thai Chamber of Commerce seeks visa amnesty for tourists

Extend all VISA s until at least 31 Dec as Malaysia has done. Stop hassling us and the people workin...(Read More)


Shorter quarantine if tourist test succeeds

Sure there are now tourists arriving in October after reading that probably in November Q-time goes ...(Read More)


Prayut backs return of tourists

Mis-masked vendor handing food to the PM mirrors the complacency now evident all over. Second wave ...(Read More)


Prayut backs return of tourists

$3-6000 for a two week stay on a hotel's property. Where in the Riviera are we talking? Get r...(Read More)


Phuket’s ‘missing’ tsunami-warning buoy now recovered

Years ago I been told from the Experts that there is a 3rd buoy always on standby and every year thi...(Read More)


Watana sentenced to 99 years in jail, allowed bail

Just a common corrupt crook that fell by the wayside of his cronies... which probably do the same da...(Read More)