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Phuket officials file report of Lady D damaging corals

Phuket officials file report of Lady D damaging corals

PHUKET: Workers are preparing to move the 55-metre superyacht Lady D from its current location off Koh Thanan, about 2.2km off Phuket’s east coast, after coastal researchers found that the bottom of the boat is damaging corals there.

By Tanyaluk Sakoot

Wednesday 21 August 2019, 01:19PM

Sontaya Prapaisub of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources Phuket office, filed an official record of the damage being done at Thalang Police Station on Monday (Aug 19).

“We were worried about coral reefs around there, so we inspected the area and found that the middle and front of yacht are on the sand, but the bottom of the yacht is on a coral reef,” Mr Sontaya explained to The Phuket News today (Aug 21).

“About 20 square metres of corals have been damaged by the yacht,” he said.

The formal record of the incident was filed with Lt Col Wutthichai Kaewthong of Thalang Police Station at 3:40pm on Monday (Aug 19), Mr Sontaya confirmed.

Mr Sontaya admitted that his officers had yet to confirm who to pursue for any damage to the reef.

“We have to wait for the yacht to be salvaged first, then we can take a look at the damage to the corals and proceed according to the law,” he said.

CIBS 2020 - The 25th China (Shanghai) International Boat Show

Mr Sontaya pointed out that damage done would be subject to Section 16 of the Wildlife Preservation and Protection Act, BE 2535 (1992), which incurs a penalty of up to four years in jail or a fine of up to B40,000, or both.

“The penalty handed down is up to the judge,” Mr Sontaya said.

However, Section 26 of the same act exempts any persons from being held accountable for harm done to wildlife if the harm occurs while carrying out orders from a government official.

Lady D was moved to off Koh Thanan as a safety precaution after the superyacht caught ablaze at Ao Po Grand Marina on Aug 8. (See story here.)

A source at the marina confirmed today that the salvage team is still working on floating the boat as it now is sitting on the shallow seabed off Koh Thanan.

Lady D has a draught of about 4.5 metres, but how the boat came to be grounded with its hull still intact has yet to be explained.

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MartinK | 22 August 2019 - 21:45:07

Trumpian reality hits Thailand:
1. Create a problem
2. Blame someone else for problem you created
3. Brag that you solved the problem you created in your best tough guy manner.
4. Insult or arrest any rational human beings who point out your BS.  
What an advanced world we live in.

Kurt | 22 August 2019 - 09:48:09

Who did order to tug that burning vessel to a shallow water coral area to let firefighters to pump /loaded it full with water during fire extinguish operation , so, as normal,  the vessel got more draught. No one of the responsible Phuket Marine Office managed that operation, or was it actually in hands/under control of that office?

Christy Sweet | 21 August 2019 - 21:29:09

How does 4 years in jail equate with a fine of 40, 000 baht? Oh, wait- both have 4s in them?

BigA | 21 August 2019 - 18:01:16

are they serious?

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