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Thailand: A Good News Story

By Fiona and Fasie Malherbe — last modified May 25, 2017 12:14 PM
A lesson in not always assuming the worst.

Published: 2015-02-13 00:00:00
Countries: Thailand

We were cruising on our yacht, Moonpath and had anchored off a bay in Khao Lak which is mainland Thailand, just up from Phuket Island. We had gone ashore and had a wonderful meal at Pete's Pub and probably a few too many cocktails. We awoke the next morning to find our dinghy was gone.

We have been cruising in Thai waters for over 20 years and have had to replace our dinghy 3 times, each time they had been stolen, so it was with heavy hearts that we left Khoa Lak and sailed down to Chalong.
As you know, you cannot cruise without a dinghy so we contacted Brent at Chalong Cruising Yacht Club of which we are members. As usual he could not have been more helpful.

We had bought all the other dinghies from Hans at Cholamark in Chalong and always had good service. We contacted them and ordered a new one plus an engine.
We went to sleep that night, disappointed and out of pocket.

We were busy at Cholamark with the very friendly staff, headed up by Je and told her our reason for buying a new one. Excitedly she said that the police from Thai Muang, which is south of Khao Lak, had picked up a dinghy and contacted them as their label is on the inflatable.
Je rang the police station and we spoke to the detetective, Mr Chalermsak, in charge of the case. He had traced back the invoice to our company in South Africa and googled it.

We hired a car and drove up to Thai Mung, the police could not have been more friendly and helpful. After proving who we were, we were taken to see our duck, which was at the police station under a tarpaulin, our shoes and torch still in the boat!

A fisherman had found her floating at sea and towed her back and reported it to the police.
We had probably not tied her correctly and were far too eager to blame it on thieving.
A policeman who was not on duty and owned a truck drove it down to Chalong and here we are back on the sea with Moon Shadow trailing behind and with baht in our pockets.

Without the honesty of the fisherman and the police and the understanding and helpfulness of Cholamark and Chalong Cruising Yacht Club, we would never have got our dinghy back.
Thank you so much
Fiona and Fasie Malherbe
Yacht Moonpath

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tmallia
tmallia says:
May 25, 2017 06:39 AM

Anchored in Sattahip bay in the north of the Gulf of Thailand and returning to the boat alone and in the dark, I failed to tie the dinghy properly. In the morning it was gone. A phone call to the Navy personnel at the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand produced one of their instructors in a rib and he helped my wife cruise up and down the shore looking for the lost dinghy and outboard. Fortunately the wind was blowing parallel with the beach and the dinghy had drifted towards the town where it had been tied up under some pilings. We recovered it complete (and I now tie two painters at night)

Keith Stirling
Keith Stirling says:
Jan 18, 2017 06:03 AM

Hi, I also lost my dingy at Chalong, I was up the mast and it came undone, it floated away in the wind before I could get down. Dingy now has two ropes/chain at all times. After coming down and lifting the anchor and motoring off I found it tied up to another yacht some distance away. They were very helpful in recovering it, I now have my registration number and yacht name on the dingy and motor. Never had a dingy stolen after 7 years in Thailand and Indonesia. I have heard stories of "lost" dingies being recovered in Sibolga and offered back to the owners at a high price for recovery efforts, mainly charter boats.
Cheers from Keith.

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