Navy ships rescue 825 tourists from flood ravaged south

Friday, 08 April 2011 From Issue Vol. XIX No. 14 By  Patcharapol Panrak

Two Sattahip-based Royal Thai Navy ships rescued more than 800 tourists from flood-ravaged resorts in Koh Tao and Koh Phangan.

HTMS Chakri Naruebet took 700 Thai and foreign tourists from Koh Tao to Juksamet Port March 31 while the HTMS Sukhothai did the same for 125 tourists from 14 countries on Koh Phangan.

From the Sattahip Naval Base, the tourists were transported to Bangkok airports and tourist-assistance centers.

Tourists disembark from the HTMS Sukhothai in Sattahip after being rescued from flood-ravaged resorts in Koh Tao and Koh Phangan.  Royal Thai Navy ships rescued more than 800 tourists who had been stranded there during the recent foul weather. Tourists disembark from the HTMS Sukhothai in Sattahip after being rescued from flood-ravaged resorts in Koh Tao and Koh Phangan.  Royal Thai Navy ships rescued more than 800 tourists who had been stranded there during the recent foul weather.

The rescues became necessary after the same storms that brought cold weather and occasional gale-force winds to Pattaya pummeled Surat Thani Province, leaving a string of death and destruction in the wake of incessant rain and rampant flooding. The two islands, famous as the base of monthly “full moon parties,” suffered widespread power outages, food shortages and property damage.

Soggy, exhausted tourists were shuttled to the warships in small wooden and rubber boats, as the waters off the islands were too shallow for the Navy vessels. Once on board, they were fed and given relief supplies and offered medical assistance from Queen Sirikit Hospital staff once back in Sattahip. All the tourists were welcomed to dry land by top Navy officers and Chonburi Gov. Wichit Chatpaisit and officials from the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

HTMS Sukhothai approaches the pier in Sattahip.HTMS Sukhothai approaches the pier in Sattahip.

The HTMS Chakri Naruebet pulls into port in Sattahip.The HTMS Chakri Naruebet pulls into port in Sattahip.

Tourists are hoisted aboard the HTMS Chakri Naruebet just off the coast of Koh Tao.Tourists are hoisted aboard the HTMS Chakri Naruebet just off the coast of Koh Tao.

Soggy, exhausted tourists were shuttled to the warships in small wooden and rubber boats, as the waters off the islands were too shallow for the Navy vessels.Soggy, exhausted tourists were shuttled to the warships in small wooden and rubber boats, as the waters off the islands were too shallow for the Navy vessels.

Tourists try to get comfortable below decks on the HTMS Chakri Naruebet.Tourists try to get comfortable below decks on the HTMS Chakri Naruebet.

Some of the rescued passengers nap on the long haul from Koh Tao to Sattahip.Some of the rescued passengers nap on the long haul from Koh Tao to Sattahip.

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