Rescuer raising sunken boat drowns
TRAGEDY struck again at the tourist boat Phoenix which capsized last July off Phuket killing 42 Chinese tourists with this time being a rescuer who was working with the team raising the sunken vessel drowning, Sanook.com reported today (Oct 2, 2018).
Phuket authorities were informed by Mr Wiwat Chidcherdwong, head of the Marine Department office on the island, that Mr Niphat, 37, died on September 29 while working at the rear of the boat in turbulent weather and suddenly fainting and drowning. He was rescued but later died at the island’s Vachira Hospital.
Niphat was involved with the rescue operation right from the start, helping locate the craft soon after it capsized and bringing up belongings of those who had died which he gave to the officials.
The team will resume work either on October 4 or 5 after checking whether balloons and slings being used to raise the boat are in good condition.
They want to raise and drag the boat from 45-meter deep waters to shallower level of around 35 meters so that additional balloons could be installed to float it and then tow it ashore.
Top: The capsized Phoenix tourist boat in which 42 Chinese tourists died. Photo: Sanook.com