No, not the next Disney movie, but a serious situation in Thailand’s Andaman Sea on Wednesday lunchtime (January 29th 2014). A scuba diving liveaboard boat has dramatically sunk between Koh Bon and Koh Tachai. Thankfully, nobody was hurt, and the vessel involved was NOT one offered by Similan Diving Tours. However, one of our most popular liveaboard boats came to the rescue, saving all passengers and crew.
On January 29th at about midday, the liveaboard diving boat known by the name of Aladdin took on water and quickly capsized and sank on the border area between Mu Ko Similan (Similan Islands National Marine Park) and Mu Ko Surin (Surin Islands National Marine Park). We are not in the position, and do not have enough facts, to comment on the stricken vessel or the reason(s) for its demise. It wasn’t ever a boat we have offered tours on, and we wish those involved the very best of luck during these difficult times.
However, we would also like to thank and congratulate Peter Pan, mainly its captain and crew, for speedily coming to the aid of all aboard Aladdin. From reports available to us, everybody on board the Aladdin diving boat was safely transferred to Peter Pan, which promptly returned to base in the southern Thai province of Phang Nga.
We would also like to take this opportunity to reassure divers and potential customers of any of our diving trips to The Similan Islands, that safety must always come first. Accidents do happen, and sometimes they are a result of bad luck, extreme weather, or insufficient management or maintenance. This is peak season in Thailand’s best diving area. This month there are no strong winds, waves, rains or sea conditions which would normally pose a risk to the types of vessels taking divers far out to sea. In fact, The Similan and Surin National Marine Parks are closed to the public for five months of every year for this very reason. What happened yesterday between Koh Bon and Koh Tachai was possibly a freak accident, due to some mechanical failure, or down to some kind of negligence.
All of our diving center partners are acutely aware of the possible dangers and laws involved with taking guests out to sea for an enjoyable day trip or liveaboard cruise. We are grateful to be working with such a special group, including and especially the captain and crew of Peter Pan.