Salvage divers today are trying to extricate the remains of the last two people missing since in the Aug. 1 sinking of a Koh Samui ferry.
The bodies of crewman Tiwakorn Vachararit and truck driver Chaichan Laosap on Monday were discovered by divers from salvage company M.S. Service wedged between two of the garbage trucks still inside the Ratcha Ferry No. 4, which went down in heavy seas with 16 people aboard.
Eleven people were rescued within 24 hours of the wreck. The bodies of captain Tewin Surat, mechanic Siravut Thongboonyang and saleswoman Naparada Chanhan were located within days. While divers saw the bodies of the last two missing passengers on Monday, they were unable to free them at the time.
The bodies now have decomposed and, combined with strong currents, more time was needed to bring them ashore, the Surat Thani Public Relations Department said.
Once the bodies are recovered, divers next will begin to remove the 90 tons of compressed garbage the ferry was carrying so as not to pollute the ocean. Eventually, the entire ferry will be raised and salvaged.
Divers from M.S. Service Company Limited who were hired by Raja Ferry to search for the missing victims and salvage the ferry saw the last missing bodies while they were exploring the small shipwreck.
The bodies were reportedly trapped between the loaded lorries which were still attached to the sunken ferry.
They were already decomposed and were difficult to bring up to the land due to the strong ocean current, according to the rescuer’s statement. They planned for their second attempt tomorrow, August 18, at 7:00 AM.
Following the capsizing incident, eleven passengers were rescued safely while three others were later found and confirmed drowned earlier this month.
The diver team also planned to salvage the ferry remains and retrieve the compressed garbage without polluting the sea after the recovery of the bodies.