Donation Operation

We collect donations for 36 families affected by this tragedy on Koh Yao Yai (Long Island), who have lost there boats, homes and loved ones. 

Here is a list of what is destroyed and we support to rebuild.

18 damaged Longtail boats
23 damaged Longtail boat engines
4   Longtail boats sunk
6   damaged big boats
3   damaged big boats engines
1   big boat sunk
5   destroyed houses
3   destroyed piers

Donation Operation

We support this donation operation, because many people ask us how they can help on a direct way.
We guarantee that the whole donation amount without deduction of administration costs will be hand over to Thai fishing villages, especially on Long Island. This is a private initiative, therefore unfortunately are donation receipts not possible.

Contact:
Julie Sebode Tel.: +66 (0)7-2841071
Hanne Sebode Tel.: +49 (0)2686-8219
Email: juliedamrong@hotmail.com

Bank details in Germany:
Konto Inhaber: Fluthilfe Thailand
Kreissparkasse Altenkirchen
Blz: 573 510 30
Account. No.: 100 00 9828
IBAN: DE79573510300100009828, BIC: MALADE51AKI
SWIFT-CODE: MALADE55550 via Landesbank Rheinland-Pfalz, D55116 Mainz

Bank details in Thailand:
Account name: TIDAL WAVE HELP
Account. No.: 448-1-03334-0
Bank of Ayudhya (Thailand)
SWIFT-CODE: AYUDTHBK
   
Please leave your email address at juliedamrong@hotmail.com, so we can contact you to thank you for your help. 
 
We thank you very much for your help in advanced.
Julie Sebode
Andreas Donate
Jörg Zebisch
Situation on Phuket, 18.01.05

We had many requests for a report about the actual damage and present situation of Phuket after the tidal wave. About Phuket Island itself, we can say it's all back to normal life and with only a few exceptions everything is cleaned up. 
The decreasing number of tourists is becoming more and more apparent. Phuket's economy, as we all know, is based principally on tourism and the effect of what has happened is going to be substantial. Plenty of airline cancellations and in the end a completly unnecessary travel warning from the foreign department in Germany. Many people now feel unsure about visiting Phuket in the near future. The general mixed up reports about Phuket being destroyed with the rest of Asia is not a big help for tourists making a decision. Some of the reporters are still not able to recall the right location in there reports. The island Phuket was and is not destroyed at all, only few beaches were affected. All the infrastructure is intact. The last earthquake and tsunami of this size occurred in 1833 and there is no health risk except perhaps from overindulgence while on vacation. Even not so clever reporters should have realized that by now. People, living here, completly disagree with the media's description of the situation on Phuket Island in the aftermath of events. They have no comprehension for this kind of 'sensation addicted' correspondence. 
The damage that has been caused by such unrealistic reports is much greater than the actual wave has caused. People, that come from the badly affected areas such as Khao Lak and Koh Phi Phi to Phuket to find work, are not helped by breaking down the tourism industry. Showing the real situation would prove that Phuket is still a nice holiday destination, if not even a bit more peaceful than before. Locals, supported by the funding goverment, doing thier best once again to provide a relaxed and nice atmosphere for holiday makers.
Of course, there are areas such as Koh Phi Phi and Khao Lak (100 km north of Phuket) have been affected very badly. A normal holiday business in the next weeks and month will not be possible in these areas. Many people lost thier families, jobs and homes. Even the very generous donations can not undo the damage that was done. It can help to give a new view of life and hope for the future. 
The quicker the tourism recovers, the quicker it will be possible to reemploy and give people a new start. 
We would like to tell those, who are still in doubt about visiting Phuket Island, that you can come to Phuket without any worries and know that the presence of tourists will aid in the economy's recovery. 
In the end we would like to thank all the people who donated generously to those in need. (Donations which we, as well as other relief organisations, have received.)

Our condolences go out 
to those who lost loved ones
and our thanks go out 
to those who helped and are helping.

Update 3rd January 2005-01-03

The situation on Phuket is improving daily, indeed outside of the Patong and Kamala Beach areas there is little sign of damage on the island. The situation in Kao Lak remains very bad, this area will not recover in the near future and there have been many fatalities.
The dive operators on Phuket have all resumed their programmes now, the dive sites around Phuket have fortunately survived the devastation. Some Similan sites have suffered a degree of damage but we are hopeful that a lot of this will simply be a coating of sand that will quickly be washed away.
For anyone considering or reconsidering coming to Phuket we would like to reassure you that the islands infrastructure and services remain intact, the damage was limited to approx 400m inland of affected beaches therefore the majority of the island was not impacted. The beaches are now cleaned and open, the seas calm and the water warm, come over and see for yourselves and you won’t regret it.
Ian Inglis

Situation on Phuket, 29.12.04.

Due to all the questions everybody has, we decided to give you some information on what is going on at Phuket.
First of all we want to thank everybody who contacted us via e-mail, sms or phone the last days and who were worried about us. Everybody is fine. We stayed at our bungalows when the wave hit Phuket so we didn't notice what happened.
We also want to offer our sincere condolences to all those who lost family members or friends. We were very lucky and we think of all the people who were not as lucky as we were.
The situation in Phuket, even though it was a big desaster, is compared to other locations not that bad.
The destruction is restricted to a very small area beyond the beaches, whereas the beaches in the south (Rawai, Chalong, Nai Harn, Kata and Karon) were not hit that hard. In a few days most of the damage will be repaired and the hotels and resorts can go back to everyday life. At Patong and up north the damage was bigger but here as well the destruction is just within a small area beyond the beach in which the buildings are affected. It will take some time until all the damage is repaired since in some parts there is not electricity anymore. Overall we were very lucky at Phuket and it is still possible to spend the vacation here without any loss in quality.
Here at Phuket there are neither corpses lying around anywhere nor is there the danger of any diseases. There is electricity and drinking water everywhere, everything is just as it was before the wave came in. The shops and shopping malls are opened up and from today on the boats will go out again for scuba diving.
Things are different and much worse in Khao Lak and Phi Phi Islands. The wave hit very hard and destroyed most of the buildings and the infrastructure. Unfortunately many people lost their life and it will take quite a long time until they can go back to everyday life. We can only advise you against going there for vacation since many people lost their life and due to that there might be problems coming up.
Concerning the divesites we have to wait a little longer until we can find out what the underwater world looks like. There are news from Similan already, there are only minor damages to the reefs. The divesites around Phuket will be inspected from today on so we will find out more and more during the next days.

That's it so far from Phuket. 

We were able to took some pictures from the Petaling during a trimix course. At the second dive we had quite good conditions and got a nice overview from the wreck. The Petaling lays on 60 meter up right on sandy bottom. We were able to see the ruder and also the propeller with the shaft.  There is nothing from the superstructure left. It is just the hull with the open hatches and a lot of stuff on it.

Successful wreck expedition

With the help of our friend Fred Evans we managed to get a lot closer to identifying the wreck we discovered February 14th.

During a further dive we had great conditions at the wreck (5-8m visibility) and we were able to determine that the ship is a steamboat built at the Sungei Nyok docks for Straits Steamship Co. Ltd in Singapore in 1928. We could indicate this from the brass plate Fred had lifted (see picture). With the help of this piece of evidence we hope to clarify the exact name of the vessel in the near future. Already conducted research tells us, that only two vessels of this kind were built in that year and we hope to find final evidence during our next dive planned at the end of April.
 

Since the vessel is located not all too deep and in a protected surrounding this dive site will be excellent to attain first wreck experiences and also to conduct primary educational dives in the trimix-field. Also, we could not detect any nets near the wreck which may be a danger potential
 

Inspiration Instructor course – Deep Blue Divers

On the 14.02.2004 Andreas successfully completed his IART (International Assoc. of Rebreather Trainers) Inspiration Instructor course. From now on he is able to offer training and try-dives on the fully closed-circuit APD Inspiration. We'd like to take this opportunity to thank Neil Matthews, the IART Instructor Trainer for his close co-operation.

Deep Blue Divers has therefore become the first and only dive centre in Thailand to offer courses for the Inspiration CCR.
For divers travelling with their own units, we can also offer complete support logistics for your diving including 3lt cylinders, absorber, oxygen and even Trimix. The 3lt cylinders and fills (with the exception of Trimix) are even free for divers booking their dive tours through us.
In the future, we also plan to stage at least one Instructor course per year in Phuket. We will publish the planned dates on this page in due course.

June 12th, 2002 we conducted a further dive at the mine sweeper. Main objective of this dive was to catch more pictures to enable a clear identification of the vessel. When we arrived at the site, we noticed that our surface-buoy had disappeared. After a coupe of approaches we (Joerg and Andreas) managed to attach a marking buoy directly to the wreck and we could begin our dive. After arriving at a depth of 70m it only took us another two minutes to find the vessel. This time, we decided to approach the boat from the other side to get some new impressions. Sight was better than during the last dive, but still not good enough to shoot real good pictures.


Ropes

Hatch cover

Moray eel

Anchor

Pipe

Triple pack

British warship found

In the last weeks intensive investigation has confirmed that the vessel we have recently localized may be a British minesweeper which sunk during World War II. A further dive to the wreck located at a depth of 70 meters was intended to get certainty. It was also planned to shoot more photographs of the wreck and to recover some items which may help in identification. The group consisted of Joerg, Fred – a deep-dive-expert – and for the first time Andreas with his camera. On board we had our friend, navigator and supervisor Adam Douglas. After he had taken us to the location safely we placed our surface buoy to securely mark the spot. Adam put on his diving gear and headed off to find the buoy we had placed at a depth of 15 meters marking the exact position of the vessel. After 25 minutes he had found it and attached a rope to lead to the surface buoy. Fred – having the best dive profile – went down first, followed by Andreas and Joerg. Already when descending we noticed that the view will be worse than during the first three dives. Pictures with flash could not be taken and shots from further away made no sense either. The few pictures taken were only possible with the beam lights Joerg had taken down – this could at least leave a first impression. 


Adam und Jörg before the dive

Probably a hand grenade

Here we found the ammunition

Entrance of the upper deck

Fred with projectile (missile) ascending

Pleased faces

Examining the discovery

What now really helped to identify the wreck were the lifted pieces: a cartridge case found by Joerg and Andreas and the missile Fred had brought up. Both ammunition types matched exactly with the expected type of vessel – a British mine sweeper of the Algerine-Class. Two vessels of this type – the Vestal and the Squirrel – sank in Phuket waters July 1945 during an offensive of the Royal Navy against the Japanese. The Squirrel ran on a mine and was so severely damaged that it had to be given up and sent to the bottom by own ships. The Vestal however was victim of a Japanese kamikaze attack – the only attack of this sort in the Indian Ocean. These two ships were the last British losses in World War II. It is still unclear which of the two vessels has been found. Clear identification will remain unsolved until further dives have been completed.

Bottom of cartridge case with imprints

Cartridge (without projectile)

Model of Algerine class

Original photograph of the HMS Vestal

 

A concluding comment: since the vessel which was destroyed by the kamikaze attack may still contain deceased sailors, we will refrain from intruding into the vessel until final identification.

Article published in the magazine "Tauchen".

In the 6/02 edition of the magazine “Tauchen” a small article was published about our basis. Even though the picture visualizes Joerg and not Andreas, we were very happy about the publication and would like to thank the responsible journalists.

Translation of the article:

Tech-Diving in Phuket

Andras Donate and Joerg Zebisch opened the first dive centre in Phuket focusing on technical diving. Deep Blue Divers are the only local base which can fill tanks with air, nitrox and trimix fillings at up to 300 bars. This pays, as now it is possible to dive at the two wrecks located at a depth of 70m and at various drop-offs. Also included in the programme of the active tech divers is the accommodation in bungalows. A deep pool allows conducting all training directly at the basis.

And it is proven again – it always takes three. April 21st 2002 at 4:20pm we took our third dive to the wreck located at a depth of 70m. We even managed to place the anchor exactly five meters next to the vessel and did not have to spend much time searching for it. We used the time of 22 minutes to place a buoy directly next to the wreck. During the next dives we will concentrate on identifying it so everyone knows what to find here.
It is now possible for trained trimix divers to join us to the wreck on a one day trip. The dive boat leaves at the Chalong Pier and needs about an hour to get to the site. And for those who still need to get acquainted with this diving method – we will teach you everything which is necessary to become a trimix diver. 

Assorted equipment

Just before leaving the resort

Discussing the dive

Deco stop

March 16th, 2002 we took our second chance to reach the wreck located in Phuket waters at a depth of 70 meters. Just like the first time, the sonar clearly led us to the right place. During the dive we found a large prop with main shaft located around our anchor line. Different information claim this to be a 50 meter long Japanese or American army vessel.

This was the intended way to get to the vessel – but since (especially in Thailand) theory and real life are miles apart, we will take another try another time.
All the stuff of the back – and a leap into 30°C warm water. At 40 meters the temperature drops instantly into a 21°C layer of water.
And at the deco stops 30°C warm water will spoil you again.
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Deep Blue Divers - Phuket - Thailand
Tel.: +66 (0)2-107-2849

info@deep-blue-divers.de