23 May 2024

Thailand’s Marine Department has ordered the owner of cargo ship, OPK3, to salvage the half-submerged vessel in three days. The ship collided with another freighter, NP Pathum Thani, in the estuary of the Chao Phraya River in front of Samut Prakan provincial hall on Tuesday.

Workers also deployed booms around the OPK3 vessel to contain oil leaking from the engine room and to protect the environment.

Marine officials, led by Phuripat Thirakuilpisut, deputy director-general of Marine Department, went to the scene of the collision in a speed boat to observe the situation and to supervise efforts to save the damaged vessel.

OPK3 sustained a gaping hole on one side of the hull, which is letting in water, after the collision. A barge was deployed to push the damaged vessel closer to the river bank, so work to close the hole could commence.

Marine officials said that the cargo containers on board OPK3 will have to be unloaded onto barges before the vessel can be salvaged and repaired.

The NP Pathum Thani freighter sustained minor damage in the collision. It has dropped anchor in the estuary while awaiting an investigation by marine officials into the cause of the collision.

The Marine Department has issued a warning to all cargo vessels navigating the Chao Phraya River and its estuary to exercise additional caution to prevent a repeat of the accident.