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Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Police Patrol boat 813 in Khao Lak

Patrol boat 813 in Khao Lak

This boat must be one of the most famous police boats in the world. During the tsunami on 26th December 2004 it was swept almost 2 km inland and now remains at exactly the location as it was deposited. Now it's part of a local museum and tsunami remembrance statue. Especially now with the very recent tsunami warning and the earth quakes and aftershocks in Phuket, a good moment to visit this monument.

Police Patrol boat 813 in it's current state, April 2012

The patrol boat was one of two police boats overseeing the holiday of Khun Phum Jensen, son of former Royal Princess Ubol Ratana (his father was an American, hence the last name) at the time of the 2004 tsunami. Khun Phum was jet-skiing when the wave struck, and he and the entire crew of one of the police boats (which was sunk) died. This is the other boat, which was swept approx. 2km inland and has been left exactly where the tsunami deposited it as a memorial and historical landmark.

A big tsunami memorial is planned at the boats location

Over the years, the scenery around the boat had changed just a little bit, look here for pictures from March 2005 and 2009. Now there are plans for a big memorial but it was not clear to me when the construction should be finished. Right now entrance is free and I wonder what kind of place this memorial is going to be.

A view over the building site with the first couple of building under construction and a foundation for the boat.

Information right now is marginal and there's just a small shack outside of the premises

When visiting Khao Lak it's well worth a visit and I just hope that the memorial will be worthy of it's victims and turn into a place of reflection and information about what happened during that awful morning of 26th December in 2004.


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