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Weather hampers search for missing Phuket crew

PHUKET: Royal Thai Navy search-and-rescue teams have yet to find the missing six crewmen who escaped a sinking barge off Koh Racha Yai, south of Phuket, before dawn this morning (July 7).

By The Phuket News

Tuesday 7 July 2015, 08:03PM

“The vessel, a 200 ton barge 20 metres wide and 49m long, sank about five nautical miles off Koh Racha Yai at about 3:50am,” Vice-Admiral Sayan Prasongsamrej, Commander of the Third Naval Area, told The Phuket News late this afternoon.

The barge apparently suffered engine failure and was soon overcome by the heavy seas, with winds whipping up to 50kmh and waves reaching heights of four metres. (See story here).

“We dispatched a search helicopter while Navy and Marine Police boats searched for them. The Navy helicopter made four passes over the search area, but failed to locate the men,” V/Adm Sayan said.

Eventually the helicopter had to abandon its search due to safety concerns, as the wind was very strong and the rain reduced visibility, V/Adm Syan added.

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“Tomorrow, we will use our Dornier search aircraft to continue the mission,” he said.

Capt Kritsana Khunthiya has high hopes the men are are still alive.

“We presume at this stage that all six men are alive,” he said. “They reportedly managed to bind a raft of empty drums together before the barge sank, and were last reported to be holding onto that.”



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BigA | 08 July 2015 - 15:59:34

but they all have to wear a live jacket,this should be enough!Horst

Asterix | 07 July 2015 - 22:06:38

It is not understand why that transport barge did not have a compulsory VMS (Vessel Monitoring System) and a live-raft with a marine EPIRP for sea safety and survival!!!
When you look at all Passenger boats at Rassada Pier, none have those safety equipments and some have more than 200 tourists aboard.

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