Marine officials were today battling to free two cargo ships that were blown off course by a storm and have been beached for four days off the coast of Thailand.
The container vessel named Namthong 39 was stuck on the shallow part of a beach after being battered by strong winds in Koh Phra Thong island off the Andaman sea on June 6.
To help pull it back to the water, a tugboat named YKP Marine responded to the scene but it ended up being washed on the sand as well.
Marine rescue officers first evacuated eight crew members from the vessels while waiting for a higher tide and better weather condition.
The container ship’s captain Indonesian national Efendi Takarendehang said they were en route from Myanmar to Indonesia when they encountered big waves and strong winds.
Efendi said: ‘We all had physical checks and will have to be on quarantine for the Covid-19 preventive measures. Everyone was safe.’
Marine Department officer Lieutenant Kittipoom Samaiklang said: ‘The operation is now underway. We are now waiting for another tugboat. It should be done when the water level rises as it would be easier.
‘Feed pumps were also used to remove water from the two ships so we have to make sure that the weather condition is better.’
Both ships did not have damage and there was no sign of oil spillage as well as the valves were already closed before water was pumped out of them.
Thailand and other countries in Southeast Asia such as Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines are at the start of their tropical monsoon rainy season, which lasts until October. Soaring temperatures reaching 35 degrees Celsius are often followed by powerful tropical storms with thunder, lightning, rain and flash floods.