Navy begins removal of floating seastead

The operation to remove the seastead from its location some 42km south of Phuket began this morning

The operation to remove the seastead from its location some 42km south of Phuket began this morning

Elwartowski and Thepdet, who are now fugitives and seeking legal advice at the U.S. embassy in Bangkok, face the death penalty, and their floating home has been towed to shore.

The seastead was set up by American businessman Chad Andrew Elwartowsky and his Thai wife Supranee "Nadia" Thepdet. The attorney-general made a decision to proceed with the case, with the authorities saying the structure would be kept as an exhibit in legal action against its former occupants, an American businessman and his Thai wife.

A task force from the Royal Thai Navy has removed a floating home installation, better known as a seastead, anchored 22.2 kilometers off the coast of Phuket.

"We see such action as deteriorating Thailand's independence", he said.

"The HTMS Sriracha will act as the command ship for the operation, the HTMS Mannai will carry the cabin unit while the HTMS Rin will be responsible for towing the spur of the base of the structure back to Phuket", he said.

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The couple lived in the cabin for two months and left before the Thai Navy raided the cabin on April 13.

Regarding the threat by Ocean Builders Company to sue the Thai government in the International Court of Justice for the removal, the deputy PM says he welcomes the move, noting that no government anywhere would allow a seastead settlement near their maritime territory.

Ocean Builders said on its website the cabin was in worldwide waters and beyond Thailand's jurisdiction.

Joe Quirk, president of the Seasteading Institute, said: 'They proved a single-family seastead can float stably in global waters for less than the cost of the average American hom'.

Mr Quirk, who is described by seasteaders as a "seavangelist" and an "aquapreneur" said: 'You can demolish the seastead, but you can't demolish the knowledge that was gained'.

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