Wreck owners charge rates for wreck in Thailand
Shipwreck owners attempt to enforce tariff on diving the Mv Sea Chart 1 of the coast of Khao Lak
Khao Lak, Thailand
Big Blue Tech was recently notified by the new owner of the Mv Sea Chart wreck that permission would be required to dive the ship wreck, located 6 miles off the coast of Khao Lak in Thailand, and that this permission would be granted if individuals paid a fee.
Operations manager of Sea-Chart Thailand Mr. Kitipong Suk-Anek said “we have learnt that the wreck
is now a day being interesting / attractive place for those scuba diving coursed also many of independent divers visit there.” meaning that the wreck site had become a popular destination in the region for divers and dive shops.
Mr. Kitipong also said “we will only authorize diving firm who has been approved and
possessing the written permission issue solely by our company against the fees of $ 3,000 USD per year” or “Should you or your company or others party interesting to manage on this biz as our agency we may offer special rate of lumpsum fees at us$30,000 per year” Stating that individuals can pay a single annual fee or an organization can pay a large sum of money and be the administrators of the enforcement.
Typically enforcing such a plan takes a lot of time and money. Daily rates that are already in place for the similan islands would be an appropriate option but with very little oversight into diving operations in Thailand it’s hard to know if this claim is legitimate. With the potential backing of the government and the addition of permanent buoy lines this project might see some success.
In one discussion, Ben Reymenants, Technical Divin Instructor Trainer asked “if a charge is really needed, do you also accept the liability that comes with charging a customer to use your vessel as an attraction?” meaning the company would be responsible for the incidents on the wreck.
This is not a new concept, in the United Kingdom a policy of “receiver of the wreck” is established for government agencies to oversea salvage and recovery operations including access for diving operations. They also record artifact recovery and register it for ownership claim.
The Mv Sea Chart sank in 2009 during a storm while carrying a large amount of Teak logs from Myanmar to Thailand. The wreck gained a lot of interest amongst local technical divers and day trip divers who wanted to dive the massive wreck in the crystal clear waters of the Similan Islands.