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Burmese speed boat fires on trawler
- Subject: Burmese speed boat fires on trawler
- From: tinkyi@xxxxxxx
- Date: Mon, 08 Feb 1999 19:06:00
Subject: Burmese speed boat fires on trawlers
BRAWL AT SEA
Ship chases off attackers of two Thai fishing boats
Burmese speed boat fires on trawlers
A Chao Phraya naval ship was despatched yesterday to chase off two armed
boats, one of them identified as Burmese, which had opened fire on two Thai
trawlers off Ranong's coast.
Vice Adm Somphob Phuridej, commander of the Third Fleet, said a distress
call was received from Tuang Sap 9 fishing boat which reported being pursued
and fired upon by a Burmese-registered speed boat northwest of Ranong's Koh
The Chao Phraya battle ship was then sent to the area, which borders on
overlapped maritime territory between Burma and Thailand.
By the time the ship arrived at the scene, another Burmese high-speed boat
had joined in the pursuit. The Thai naval vessel issued warnings to the two
boats which later retreated after briefly intruding into Thai territorial
In another incident, a small trawler was fired upon when it was chased by a
fully-armed fishing boat whose nationality was unknown six nautical miles
off Koh Payam, also in Ranong.
The shots fired from the boat wounded Somporn Kongchan, a trawler crew
member, while two of his colleagues escaped by jumping overboard.
The Chao Phraya came to the rescue, but not before the boat sped off and the
injured crewman rushed to shore with the help of a passing trawler, Porn
Mr Somporn, who was wounded in the arm, was admitted to Kura Buri Hospital
and later discharged.
Vice Adm Somphob stressed that the incidents which followed the December and
January clashes between Thai and Burmese boats were problems which needed
urgent government attention.
High-level talks with Burmese authorities must be held to settle
long-standing disputes stemming from overlapping territorial waters between
the two countries, he said.
Trawlers must be told strictly not to trespass into foreign territorial
waters and put up clear signs bearing the nationality to prevent confusion
which may lead to confrontation, he added.
The commander said it was possible the Thai trawlers were confused by the
unclear maritime demarcation and strayed into the overlapped area, prompting
the Burmese boat to be on their guard.
But if the friction persisted for much longer, it might develop into a
full-scale battle, he added.