An abandoned Chinese ghost ship discovered in the southern waters of the Gulf of Thailand has sunk in rough seas while being towed to shore by the Royal Thai Navy.
Initial sightings of the ghost ship named Jin Shui Yuan 2, of unknown origin, were reported last Thursday around 100 nautical miles off the coast. These sightings were near oil rigs owned by Chevron Corp.
The ghost ship was reported to local authorities, who informed the 2nd Naval Area Command in southern Thailand.
On the vessel’s side, the name “Jin Shui Yuen 2” is painted, but the last digit of the registration number was deliberately erased. The ship measures about 80 metres in length and was taking in water when it was discovered.
As a result of rough seas and holes in the hull, rear admiral Surasak Pratarnvorapanya of the second fleet in southern Thailand said the vessel could not be towed to land.
About 28 nautical miles off the coast of Nakhon Si Thammarat in southern Thailand, the abandoned ghost ship sank, the rear admiral added.
The navy’s second fleet has also asked an oil exploration company to deploy booms in the area. This will prevent oil slicks from spreading, which could harm the environment and tourist attractions.
As the sea current is moving away from the wreck and toward Matsum Island, near Koh Samui in Surat Thani province, the admiral estimated it would take 2-3 days to clean up the oil before they reached the waters around Koh Samui.
Investigators have not been able to determine the nationality or ownership of the sunken vessel, adding that it could have gone out of service quite some time ago.