The order, issued by Phuket Marine Office Acting Chief Wiwat Chitchertwong last night (Nov 15), mandated that all vessels keep clear of the site from today through next Tuesday (Nov 20).
“All vessels must careful when passing through the area around the Phoenix, 2.32 nautical miles south of Coral Island (Koh Hei), from Nov 16 to Nov 20,” Mr Wiwat explained in the order.
“For safety, boats must not enter within one mile of the site at any time of the day or night,” Mr Wiwat added.
The salvage site was given as 7º42'14.6" North, 98º23'06.9" East. (See map here.)
“Everyone must follow this rule strictly,” Mr Wiwat ordered.
The Phuket Marine Office this morning declined to provide any more details on the salvage operation, instead instructing The Phuket News to contact only Mr Wiwat for more information. Calls to Mr Wiwat this morning went unanswered.
Meanwhile, the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department last night reported that work by the new salvage operator Seacrest Marine is continuing.
“The boat and crane (crew) have dropped eight anchors around the Phoenix boat. Next, a dive team went to check the equipment in place underwater and now have the crane boom supports in place on either side of the boat,” the report said.
“The team will have all tools and equipment in place and conduct a trial run before attempting to recover the boat,” the report added.