Monk in Thailand Blog

Monk in Thailand - Views on life. I am British, or was. I've been in Thailand for 18 years. I am not a Monk except by name. Check My Phuket Blog for Phuket information.

Adrift for 19 hours... Hang on, I know him!

Yesterday I caught something on the news about 2 divers being rescued in Australia after floating for 19 hours. This is a very rare event. I used to get annoyed with the boat staff if I was floating for more than a few minutes! You can never say "It won't happen", but staff on dive boats that I have worked on are very attentive, always know who's in the water and are quick off the mark if anyone does not surface on time (normally because they want a longer dive).

It can happen of course. The movie "Open Water" was (vaguely) based on real events - divers being left behind by a dive boat. In the case that inspired that movie, the 2 divers were never found.

The news I saw about 2 divers being found after floating for 19 hours didn't seem that interesting. They were found, after all. But then today I was browsing and saw the name of one of the divers, Mr Richard Neely. Hang on, I know him! Rich has been in Phuket for a number of years working as a dive instructor and tour leader on dive boats - not the kind of person you'd expect to go missing on a dive! And it's not the first time he's had to float. In 2005 he was working on a dive boat that sank in the night. All crew and guests were floating for 8 hours before being found, luckily in calm seas.

Rich and Alison

The News

Sunday Mirror
Daily Mail

Seems they sold their story, and why not indeed! But now some people think they should cough up for the rescue...

BBC News

See you back in Phuket, Rich!

UPDATE - a journalist by the name of Andrew Drummond came sniffing around last week, he visited quite a few dive shops and (as I told him) everyone said the same thing, basically that Rich is a very nice guy and a top dive pro:

See here:

The lines. Don't walk on them.

Some things must be passed down from parents to their kids. If not for my mum, I am sure bears would have eaten me years ago. I have taught my daughter about the bears too. Very important.

Whenever I walk in a London street,
I'm ever so careful to watch my feet;
And I keep in the squares,
And the masses of bears,
Who wait at the corners all ready to eat
The sillies who tread on the lines of the street
Go back to their lairs,
And I say to them, "Bears,
Just look how I'm walking in all the squares!"

And the little bears growl to each other, "He's mine,
As soon as he's silly and steps on a line."
And some of the bigger bears try to pretend
That they came round the corner to look for a friend;
And they try to pretend that nobody cares
Whether you walk on the lines or squares.
But only the sillies believe their talk;
It's ever so portant how you walk.
And it's ever so jolly to call out, "Bears,
Just watch me walking in all the squares!"

Lines AND Squares by A.A. Milne


Even when I was a kid, it was funny to read strange instructions on toys "Made in China". I vowed on another blog not to take the piss out of odd Thai spellings even if it is funny (like a sign I see in Patong saying "We Spik English") - I won't take the piss out of Thinglish until I speak fluent Thai... but I will happily show you this picture of some instructions in English - the item in question was a bag for hanging in the bathroom to put things in. It was "Made in China".

What the? My favourite line is:

"Pleases dont painstaking twist rub receive box"

My Yellow Shirt

Actually there are a lot less people wearing yellow shirts now, but starting around the middle of 2006, Yellow was the in colour. King Bhumibol Adulyadej celebrated 60 years on the throne on 9th June 2006, he was born on a Monday, the colour for Monday in Thailand is Yellow. Suddenly in 2006 everyone wanted a yellow shirt to show respect for the King. I got one too, and it seemed that (maybe, possibly) wearing a yellow shirt gained me (as a foreigner) a little respect too. My wife thought I was silly, but frankly, in my humble opinion the King is worthy of respect. So, I wear my yellow shirt every Monday.

My Yellow Shirt