Phuket Governor Pakkapong Tawipat on Tuesday said that the barge which had been making its way from Singapore with a 1,200-tonne crane on board this week, had arrived and was ready to help with the recovery of the “Phoenix”.
The governor expects that, if the weather holds, the boat will be brought to the surface before Thursday.
Equipment in four containers was also being unloaded at Phuket Deep Sea Port in Cape Panwa today.
The barge came up from Singapore via the Straits of Malacca, while the four containers arrived by road.
Acting Immigration chief, and supervisor of the current salvage operations, Major-General Surachete Hakparn, has arrived in Phuket to host a delegation of media operators, including Chinese media, to visit the salvage site.
The “Phoenix”, which sank on July 5 off Phuket’s southwest coast, causing the drowning of 47 Chinese tourists, is still 45 metres under water as the new salvage team has had little more success than the original team, who threw in the towel a week ago.
They have been preparing the sunken vessel for salvage operations, which are expected to go into full swing tomorrow when the crane is fully prepared for the recovery operation.
Spitz Tech, the original contractors, complained about the same strong currents in the two months during which they attempted the salvage.
Since then, Sunquest Marine of Singapore, under the direction of Maj-Gen Surachete, has been wrestling with the elements.