Swedish dive boat sank in the Andaman Sea

The liveaboard yacht MY Rhapsody, operated by Phuket-based Oceanic Divecenter, that takes divers to Similan Islands, sank in early April near Surin Islands.
     After a seven-hour ordeal six passengers and seven crew members were rescued after their liveaboard dive boat sank without warning.
     The 25-meter yacht was anchored 300 meters from a rock when just after midnight yesterday morning when some of those on board heard a bang. Crew and passengers had no choice than to grab their lifejackets and signalling equipment and jump overboard.
     Within six minutes, the boat had sunk.
     The group, none of whom was injured, used torches and other signalling equipment to try to attract the attention of two other dive boats, which arrived about 45 minutes after the sinking, but without success. They were finally spotted and rescued.
     Oceanic Divecenter Managing Director Mona Fristedt told the Phuket Gazette the cause of the sinking was still a mystery. She said, “The boat wasn’t hit, there were no problems whatsoever before this happened … the sea was calm, there was no wind, there were no other boats around.”
     Ms Fristedt, who has run Oceanic Divecenter along with boat manager Keith Holmqvist since 2001, said: “This is a boat operator’s worst nightmare. I have to admire our guests for being so calm under such circumstances and, of course, our wonderful Thai crew, as well as the diving staff.”

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