Chinese ‘Ghost ship’ found floating off coast of Thailand

An abandoned Chinese ‘ghost ship’ was found floating off the coast of Thailand.

Chevron’s offshore oil rig workers first found the 80-metre-long vessel in the Gulf of Thailand on January 6. The ship, labelled ‘Jin Shui Yuan 2’ in Chinese characters, was reportedly of unknown origin, and had no crew, cargo, or identifying documents on board.

It was spotted about a hundred nautical miles from the mouth of Songkhla Lak. However, the ship sank due to rough seas and strong winds near Sichon District in Nakhon Si Thammarat province while being towed by the Thai navy on January 9.

Local authorities have coordinated with the marine department to keep the one-kilometre-wide oil leak from the shipwreck from harming the environment and spreading to nearby holiday islands.

Buoys were also placed to mark the area where the ship had sunk. Fishermen have been alerted to be careful while sailing.

A notice has been issued to the shipowner to salvage the vessel within 15 days.

Captain Itthipat Gavinfuengfukul said: ‘We have been trying to bring the ship to shore, but it sank before we could reach it.

‘Buoys have been deployed at the point where it sank. The ship is 18 metres from the water’s surface and about 28 nautical miles from the coast of Sichon district.’

He added that the shipowner, if they come forward, would have to pay to claim the tanker. The Centre for National Marine Interest Region 2 will be investigating the matter further.