Mr Ceferin reported the Marco Polo, a 40-foot Fountain Pajot catamaran, missing to Chalong Police immediately after discovering that the yacht was missing.
An eye witness told Mr Ceferin that he had seen three people board the boat around 8:30am before taking off to sea.
“The boat was anchored safely by 45 metres of anchor chain in water with a depth of only 11m,” Mr Ceferin told The Phuket News.
“We also checked that the anchor was secure by testing its hold under engine power. We did this check two times,” he said.
“The boat did not ‘drift’ on anchor,” he added.
The Marco Polo was later reported to have been found near Indonesian waters. The sighting, and confirmation that it was the Marco Polo, was by reported by MGR Online, citing the Phuket Fisheries Office.
However, Mr Ceferin today confirmed that after making the appeal to the Phuket Fisheries Office he was informed that the Marco Polo had been seen at the Similan Islands.
By the afternoon of Jan 13, Mr Ceferin had the boat back in his possession after it was handed over at Koh Bon, near the Similan Islands, north of Phuket.
The quick discovery and return of his yacht came less than 24 hours after he had made an appeal through the Phuket Provincial Fisheries Office for any boats in Phuket’s commercial fishing fleet to keep an eye out for the missing yacht.
He also offered a reward for information that directly led to the return of his yacht.
“We made a big report to the main fishermen’s office in Phuket Town on Jan 12, and directly after that, the next morning, we got a call saying that my boat was in the area of the Similan Islands,” Mr Ceferin said.
“I believe that different fishing boats took my boat and pulled it step by step until it was in the Similan Islands area,” he added.
“Many things had been stolen, including the anchor and anchor chain. In my opinion, the fishermen [who took the boat] were scared of the whole situation after the fisheries office report and gave it back,” he said.
Mr Ceferin estimated that the items stolen, including the chain and anchor, were altogether worth about B225,000.
“I also gave B100,000 to the finder and B70,000 to pay for their fuel,” Mr Ceferin said.
“The most important thing is that I got my boat back. I have now already installed a new bigger Rocna anchor which my boat can support and a high quality GPS tracker on board. This case was enough pain for me. Thanks a lot to all the guys who helped in this bad time,” he said.
He confirmed that the Marco Polo is currently valued at about US$220,000 (just over B7.1 million).