Issued at 16.00 Hrs. (GMT+7) on 14 July 2018
The recovery team, comprising mainly Royal Thai Navy divers with the cooperation from rescue workers from China’s Guangzhou Salvage, continued their mission to recover the body from under the sunken Phoenix. The team has been committed to their mission until the last body was recovered.
Meanwhile, officials, representatives and figures from the public and private sectors joined today’s meeting at the ‘Command and Rescue Centre of the Capsizing Incident’ at the Phuket Provincial Hall to discuss ways to strengthen marine safety and security.
Present at the meeting included Phuket Provincial Governor Mr. Norraphat Plodthong, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Governor Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, and Vice Admiral Somnuk Preampramot, Commander of the Royal Thai Navy Third Naval Area Command.
Phuket Provincial Governor Mr. Norraphat Plodthong said work has begun on integrating actions by all the concerned public and private sectors on the warning system and safety measures.
- Weather alerts: Direction has been made for the Thai Meteorological Department’s severe weather alerts to immediately be publicised in all media channels, in addition to setting up a centre to provide hourly weather forecasts covering 21 points in Phuket and the Andaman Sea.
- Boat safety and security: All boats scheduled to set out to sea must receive permission from the officers at the checkpoints and must pass all three criteria – the boat, the captain and the passenger. A joint patrol unit, comprising officers and personnel from the concerned agencies, will be dispatched to facilitate tourists at Phuket’s departure points for ferry and boat trips.
- A rescue centre for marine incidents has been set up at Ko Yao district. The centre is equipped with speed boats, patrol boats, and dive boats, and is ready to undertake any emergency search and rescue missions.
- Lifeguards: Phuket Province will facilitate to integrate the actions between the public and private sectors to provide support to tourists at Phuket’s beaches. The Phuket Provincial Administration Organisation is tasked with the employment and deployment of lifeguards at each beach.
- Phuket Province is also accelerating its ‘CCTV System’ and ‘Fiber Optic’ projects to support lifeguards to provide better protection at Phuket’s beaches and island-wide.
TAT’s Action and Direction
TAT Governor Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn applauded everyone involved for exerting every effort in a timely manner to provide support and comfort to the affected tourists and their relatives. However, he said this information and the reality on the ground in Thailand had not reached everyone in China, which caused misunderstanding and frustration among the Chinese people.
He said: “Chinese tourists are now questioning about Thailand’s tourist safety and security measures, our warning systems, as well as the search and rescue procedures. Some have cancelled their travel plans to Thailand.
“It is paramount that we strengthen our message to ensure that as many Chinese people as possible know that Thailand is sincerely doing everything we can to care for those injured and help the families of those who lost their lives.”
Next week, TAT will bring members of the media from China to Thailand to see first-hand the reality on the ground about the country’s marine tourism safety and security.