Boat sinks off Phuket, six still missing

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Quero

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Thank you for posting that, Mislav. Mike's interview and this written account have been the only real light shed on the way that this disaster unfolded.

I wish the survivors a speedy recovery, both physically and emotionally. And to Chris, well no words can really convey my admiration.
 

MoonWrasse

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It sounds like they may have been caught in a waterspout, by the description. Fortunately with
their combined training and experience so many were able to survive under such extreme conditions.

One always thinks of the dangers underwater while diving, and not back on the boat going home.

Here's an up to date article on PhuketWan:
Boat Sinking Update: Five Bodies Recovered - Phuket Wan
 

TimA

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"The boat rolled onto its starboard side and another survivor told me that the windows burst and it flooded those cabins (she survived by taking a breath of air trapped inside her cupboard and swimming out the window)."




WOW!!
 
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Really sad - I know that there's a ceremony today...

Dive Asia who having a ceremonie by the sea at the pier in Chalong
 

MoonWrasse

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"One simple fact: divers on the Andaman coast are actually safer making a dive than they are on the trip to and from the Similans, at the wrong time.

Why? Because diving is tightly regulated and regimented to ensure the equipment works every time, and to remove all predictable risks.

Maritime authorities do not take the same approach above the water. It is time they did."
Aussie Dive Survivor Tells: 'I Walked the Walls' - Phuket Wan

In general this may be true. While there have been a few fatalities while diving in the area,
there are many more every year having to do with boating safety and incidents involving meteorological events.
 

TimA

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Come early or come late this was not a freak storm...this is a very normal weather pattern for this time of year. Thunderstorms always occur at the cusp of the changeover from NE to SW monsoon and vice versa. Light variable winds, high humidity, and thundershowers. My understanding is that a couple of other vessels went thru this same storm without too much trouble. :confused:
 

Kevrumbo

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This may be a prevailing weather pattern for the time of year, but nevertheless, they could have unfortunately experienced some localized freak/extreme conditions: cyclonic winds & confused seas --together with the high center of gravity like most top-heavy liveaboards, a rogue wave or a ship's uncontrollable parametric rolling could have quickly capsized the vessel. . .
 

TimA

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with the high center of gravity like most top-heavy liveaboards

Well its much too early to play the "blame game".It will be interesting to hear from the other vessels that were in the in the area. But from what I can see certain vessels that have a high GM, nearly shoal draft, and a small length to beam ratio will roll even when tied up to the pier. Not to mention a metal superstructure thats best feature is being detected on another radar.

Edit: meant to say low GM; high center of gravity.
 
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Quero

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Thank goodness all of the victims have been found and returned to their loved ones. May they rest in peace.

The local press (Phuket Gazette March 14, p 1) are reporting the weather conditions as a waterspout, though they do not attribute that determination to any official source. The descriptions given by survivors and the captain of the sunken boat do seem to support the theory that they were struck by a waterspout.

According to organisations such as the National Weather Service in the US, waterspouts are highly localized, severe weather events that are capable of capsising and sinking vessels of the size of this dive boat, "with maximum brief wind speeds of hurricane force or greater." If in fact the storm the boat got caught in did produce a spout, it is conceivable that this vessel might be struck full on while another nearby at the same time might simply have got buffeted and weathered the storm without incident. Yes, water spouts and severe thunderstorms are usual for this time of year in this part of the world; most of us who are out on the water regularly here have seen spouts as we motored back to Chalong. Fortunately, all sightings I have personally witnessed have been in the daytime and the captains were able to steer clear.

I don't think anyone would argue against an investigation, or that questions of the boat's seaworthiness--specifically center of gravity, ratio of beam to length, and draft when fuel and water tanks are empty--should be examined. We decidedly do need to learn from all catastrophes in order to enhance safety at sea. But until the answers to the many questions the accident has raised have been answered, I find it precipitous to be assigning blame to the shipyard, the naval architects, the dive operation, the captain, or whomever else. Raise questions, yes. But there's just not enough information yet to lay the responsibility for these deaths at any particular doorstep. More than likely it is some combination of many factors.
 
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