PHUKET: Michael Turner told the press on Tuesday, after warmly thanking Vice Admiral Choengchai Chomchoengpaet of the Royal Thai Navy, that his first order of business ashore was to update his visa with the Phuket Immigration Office.

An elderly UK sailor expressed his gratitude to the Royal Thai Navy on Tuesday morning after being rescued 40 miles off the coast, the night before, by the naval patrol boat Tor 232. 

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70-year-old UK skipper of the Pollen Path, Michael Turner, thanks crew members of the Tor 232 patrol boat which rescued him on Monday night in the company of Vice-Admiral Choengchai Chomchoengpaet. The Royal Thai Navy vessel put the boat under tow on Monday night and brought it safely back to the naval operations centre in Phuket on Tuesday morning after the craft was adrift for 3 days with engine problems.

A 70-year-old British sailor was rescued on Monday night, 40 miles offshore, after being 3 days adrift without power.

The Malaysian registered ‘Pollen Path’ was reached by the Thai naval patrol boat Tor 232 at 10.50 pm and put under tow as it was taken back to Phuket.

The naval patrol boat had rendezvoused with a cargo vessel which had discovered the craft that afternoon, 20 minutes earlier.

It arrived back to the naval operations centre in Phuket on Tuesday morning at 9.30 am.

Patrol boat dispatched to the area on Monday evening

Details of the rescue were given by Vice Admiral Choengchai Chomchoengpaet who said he had dispatched the naval patrol boat from Phuket at 7.30 pm having received information about the stricken vessel from the cargo ship Miclyn Endurance on Monday afternoon.

Yacht had left Phuket on Friday afternoon

The yacht, skippered by 70-year-old UK man Michael Turner, had left Phuket’s west coast on Friday afternoon last travelling to the southeastern coast of the island and Chalong Pier.

However, 40 nautical miles offshore, the craft’s engine failed leaving Mr Turner adrift.

Skipper had food provisions for 6 days but was still relieved to be rescued after 3 days adrift

On Tuesday morning, Mr Turner revealed that he had 6 six days of food and water provisions but was still relieved to come across the cargo ship whose assistance he requested. This led to his rescue.

The British sailor expressed his thanks and gratitude to the 3rd Naval area command for coming to his assistance when he personally thanked Vice Admiral Choengchai after he came ashore.

The naval officer told reporters that the boat’s engines had suffered mechanical failure and that the craft could not use its sails because of strong winds in the area.

Friend in Chalong to fix the engine

Mr Turner left his boat at the naval pier on Tuesday as he set off to Phuket’s Immigration Office to regularise and update his visa.

He indicated that he would next contact a friend in Chalong to arrange for his yacht’s engine to be repaired. 

Further reading:

 Search off Phuket for missing Polish man and Thai woman who went missing while kayaking off the coast

US armed forces welcomed in Laem Chabang for Cobra exercises with Thai counterparts next week

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