Chinese cruise ship Ocean Dream, anchored off Laem Chabang port in Sri Racha for over a year, sank into the sea on Saturday (Feb 27) , raising fear by Thai environmental authorities that it could cause pollution in the sea.
The cruise ship which was abandoned in Chonburi sea by its Chinese owner was seen to take in water a day earlier by fishermen. Fishermen immediately reported the cruise ship to authorities of the Marine Department’s Marine Safety Centre, as it was inclining to the left side.
Authorities immediately coordinated with the Chinese owner to stabilise the vessel back to its position, and were working out a plan to have it fixed on Saturday. However the inclining vessel later sank off about two kilometres off the Laem Chabang coast.
But the water at the sunken site is not deep, the vessel could be seen submerged with its side above the water.
Commander of the Navy First Fleet Vice Admiral Rangsarit Satayanukul late same day ordered a Navy plane to fly to the scene to see if the vessel would leak out oil or not as he feared it could pose environmental threat.
According to ship tracking data, the Chinese cruise ship Ocean Dream is anchored at Laem Chabang port for more than a year.
The ship was to depart for cruise in China, but instead, was anchored off the Laem Chabang coast and seemed to be abandoned and with no crew and due maintenance.
The owner was asked to move the ship somewhere out from Thai waters, but no confirmation received so far, that the owner is going to do anything.
The ship as it is, in her present condition, seems to be a threat to shipping and ecosystem.
The 17,040 gross ton cruise ship Ocean Dream began service in 1972 and after originally being ordered by norwegian Cruise Line ended up making its debut for P&O Cruises. The vessel has had several names including Spirit for London for P&O Cruises, Sun Princess for Princess Cruises, Starship Majestic for Premier Cruises and has sailed for several more cruise lines under different names. The ship has a passenger capacity of 760 and 390 crew members.