The news follows reports that the salvage team had arrived to start their recovery efforts yesterday.
“A company from Singapore is the new operator to recover the Phoenix, and will use a 1,000-tonne crane to raise the boat,” Capt Ekkachai told The Phuket News today.
“The crane will arrive tomorrow (Nov 9) and will set the site and be ready for use in one to two days after that,” he said.
Capt Ekkachai declined to give any further information.
“I will send what information I have to Phuket PR (the Phuket Provincial office the Public Relations Department),” he said.
Meanwhile, Acting Phuket Marine Chief Wiwat Chitchertwong – as with all this week – was again unavailable for comment this morning, while all other officials at the Phuket Marine Office that The Phuket News spoke to said they were not authorised to comment on the publicly-funded project.
The move to hire a new company to raise the Phoenix follows Spitz Tech Co Ltd ceasing its efforts in recovering the wreck, claiming it encountered too many problems in raising the 29-metre-long boat. (See story here.)
Of note, one of the Spitz tech divers involved in the salvage, Niphat ‘Joch’ Kludnak, 37, died on Sept 29 after fainting at the back of the main salvage boat and falling into the water. (See story here.)
Spitz Tech Co Ltd was hired under a B10-million contract to recover the sunken tour boat.
So far no details have been released about the arrangement for the new company “from Singapore” – which remains unnamed – to salvage the wreck.
The news also follows Phuket Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana late last month handing down an order from Deputy Prime Minister Gen Chatchai Sarikulya for officials in Phuket to push for the island to lead the way in restoring tourists’ confidence in travelling to Thailand.
Under the order, preservation of life and property are to be given top priority, while the media “is to be told the truth” about tourism issues. (See story here.)