Phuket officials do nothing as fishing boat breaks up at tourist beach

The Chok Mong fishing boat continues to break apart at Nai Yang Beach, with fuel and large pieces of wood being dangerously tossed ashore. Photo: Supplied

Officials today confirmed they will do nothing about the large pieces of wood being dangerously tossed about in the surf at Nai Yang Beach after a fishing boat foundering in strong winds and waves ran aground, broke apart and sank in the bay on Friday.

Marine officials confirmed on Saturday that the Chok Mong fishing boat with five people on board was pushed off its anchor and onto rocks after 11am.

The five on board put on life jackets and abandoned ship, jumping in to the relatively shallow water and making it safely to shore.

Marine officials issued a formal notice for the owner of the Chok Mong to recover the boat and move it to a safe locale.

However, following eye-witness reports of wood debris and fuel floating on the water at Nai Yang on Saturday, officials at Sakoo Tambon Administration Organisation (OrBorTor) said today (July 16) that they would take no action to clear the dangerous debris.

One eye-witness told The Phuket News, “The crew made it on land safely… after throwing tons of nets and old oil canisters and everything else over board to get the boat lighter… and straight onto our last coral banks.

“The boat is broken in half in the middle and with every wave moves over the coral banks. Winds are too strong though for us to do anything safely. Guess it is gonna stay there until its broken into smaller pieces.

“Same happened last year with a smaller boat and nobody cared. Not even after a tourist lost a toe cutting it off on the sharp metal in the water,” the eye-witness said.

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An officer at the Sakoo OrBorTor who refused to be named oday told The Phuket News today that the Chok Mong is a fishing boat based at one of the Koh Yao islands on the east side of Phuket.

“The boat broke out due to strong currents which pushed it onto a reef two days ago,” the officer said.

“Now we are waiting for the recovery team to come and recover the boat. There were no injuries,” the officer added, declining to answer any further questions.

The plight of the Chok Mong comes while top-flight officials are ramping up marine safety standards under orders from the Prime Minister as damage control after Chinese tour bookings started to plunge in the wake of the Phoenix tour boat disaster on July 5 that killed 47 Chinese tourists.- PhuketNews

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