Thai fishermen stranded at sea off Somalia now returning home
Some of the Thai fishermen stranded on two foreign-owned trawlers off the coast of Somalia have already returned to Thailand, while the rest are expected to be home in the next several days, thanks to work by the Labour and Foreign Affairs ministries.
Labour Minister Chatumongol Sonakul and Mr. Chatree Athananan, director-general of the Consular Affairs Department, told the media that Thai officials managed to contact only 42 out of the reported 50 Thai fishermen and, of these, four, who are all residents of the northeastern province of Surin, returned to Thailand on August 1st.
For remaining 18 from the same boat, air tickets have already been arranged for them, with 14 of them flying back via Dubai and the remaining four expected to arrive in Bangkok this Sunday.
The labour minister said that this group of fishermen includes six from Surin province, eight from Buri Ram, two from Phetchabun and one each from Samut Sakhon and Chaiyaphum. Of these, five of them went abroad to work with the help of the Fund assisting job seekers to find work overseas, he added.
The other 20 Thai fishermen, who were on another vessel, are on their way to Thailand via Oman and Iran.
Mr. Chatree gave his assurance that all the fishermen will be brought back to Thailand safely, no matter how long it takes, adding that all of them have been provided with food and some telephone expenses so they can call their families in Thailand.