Attempt to salvage half sunken garbage barge underway off Phi Phi Island

Local authorities and operator of a garbage barge were salvaging a half sunken garbage barge yesterday when it went out of control after developing engine trouble, and hit undersea rocks.

The 15-metre long and 4-metre wide garbage barge, Chachandee, sank off Phi Phi Island in Tambon Ao Nang, Krabi province.

The garbage barge which was modified from a fishing boat was on its way from Krabi to Phi Phi Island to load garbage on the island for disposal in the mainland.

The skipper of the garbage barge said as it was sailing close to Phi Phi Island, the barge developed engine failure, forcing him to anchor off in the sea off the island.

But at the time of the trouble, the wave was strong, blowing the barge away from the anchor.

He said the boat then floated uncontroably, and hit the rocks.

It cracked and began to take in water and sank, he said.

Operator of the garbage barge said attempts were being made to salvage it with several long tailed boats coming in with water pumps to pump water out and mending the crack as they feared fuel and engine oil from the boat could spill out, and threaten the beach.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (ThaiPBS)