Pattaya Daily News

25 July 2008 :: 12:07:53 pm 10892

Pattaya Tour Boat Catches Fire Tourists And Crew Rescued

A tour boat taking tourists on a diving expedition had a problem with the engine which later caught on fire in the middle of Pattaya Bay on July 24, 2008. Both crew and tourists, in total 19 people, were rescued safely. The boat later sank. The damage was about 6 million Baht.
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On July 24, at 1pm, Pattaya Sea Rescue officers was notified by Mr. Aphisak Tienthong, (49), from Sattahip, captain of the boat,”J.C.Hunter”, that the vessel was on fire and requested help. The engine had caught fire while the boat was moored for the tourists to dive and look at coral around Koh Lan Island Beach, Pattaya Bay. The incident took place about 17 nautical miles from the shore. The flames were too intense and could not be put out, putting all 19 aboard in danger, so the captain told the passengers and most of the crew to don life jackets and jump overboard to await rescue.

Luckily, Fire Fighter and Rescue boats arrived in time to prevent any loss of life. At the incident, the rescue teams found the tourists who were American, French, and Russian, the crew and a tour guide, altogether 19 people, frightened but safe, floating in the sea, waiting for help. The luxury twin-deck boat had sparks and flames coming from the engine room and was also pouring out smoke. The rescuers helped the tourists and crew to get aboard the Rescue boat and immediately transferred valuable equipment, including oxygen tanks for diving, out of the stricken vessel. Fortunately, nobody was injured.

Some of the rescuers examined the engine room fire and used chemical fire extinguishers and water to try and put out the fire, but without success. The fire was spreading rapidly, and the vessel began to take on water. The captain ordered the remaining crew to abandon ship and 20 minutes later, the boat sank The rescuers later safely put the passengers and crew ashore at Bali Hai Pier.

Mr. Sanit Boonmachai, Council Member of Pattaya City and President of Pattaya Committee for Safety, who was the team leader co-ordinating sea rescue said that the authority would see if the boat could be salvaged, otherwise, it would be abandoned. Mr Sanit also expresssed his gratitude to the sea rescue team for having safely rescued all aboard.

Reporter : Kampee   Photo : Kampee   Category : Crime News

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