Volunteers race against time to rescue capsize victims in Thailand

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/7/8 20:08:39

The rescue team is waiting for the return of ships that carry the bodies of three victims. Photo: Cui Meng/GT

The Thai navy rescue force and two rescue teams from China continued their efforts in Thailand's Phuket on Sunday, even as the death toll from a sunken ship on Thursday continues to rise. Fourteen people remain missing, and 42 bodies have been recovered.

Both Chinese and Thai rescue teams were working together against time.

The Rescue Team of Ram Union, a professional NGO rescue team from China's Zhejiang Province, arrived in Phuket Saturday morning. They brought deep sea rescue equipment, including high-tech radar and sonar equipment.

In Thailand, an NGO team named Blue Sea, which consists of Chinese living in Thailand, rushed to the site the minute they heard about the tragedy.

According to a member of Blue Sea, after the accident, many Chinese living in Thailand volunteered to help. But since it is a highly complex situation, only the most qualified professionals joined the efforts in the end.

A 10-member rescue team from the Guangzhou Salvage Bureau of China's Ministry of Transport also arrived at the site on Saturday with all their equipment.

Xu Lijun, who leads the Rescue Team of Ram Union, told the media that it is a tough rescue. "The ship is about 43 meters under water so a diver could run out of a tank of oxygen in three minutes. In addition, the climate in the local region is bad, with big waves and complicated ocean-floor topography."

Another volunteer rescuer said that since the ship is 40 meters underwater and some bodies are in an enclosed space, it is risky for the divers to do the job without highly specialized equipment.

Meanwhile, the Thai government has set up service counters in Phuket's airport to provide assistance to the family members of victims, saying it would arrange funerals and help those who want to bring bodies home.

The Rescue Team of Ram Union (in yellow) joined the rescue efforts Saturday. Photo: IC

A victim's body is being carried away Saturday. Photo: Cui Meng/GT

The Thai team prepares for rescue on Sunday. Photo: Cui Meng/GT


Rescuers from the Guangzhou Salvage Bureau are on the site Sunday. Photo:Cui Meng/GT

Part of the Thai search and rescue team returns on Saturday evening. Photo: Cui Meng/GT

Global Times
Newspaper headline: Race against time

Posted in: IN-DEPTH

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