Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Warship on track for April salvage

Warship on track for April salvage

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Removal of ammunition from the Mekong River earlier this month. Photo supplied

Warship on track for April salvage

If nothing changes, the team searching for unexploded ordnance (UXO) in the warship which was sunk in the Mekong River in Meanchey commune’s Veal village of Kampong Cham province’s Srei Santhor district during the Cambodian civil war in the 1970s, would be completed in late March and the warship would be salvaged in early April.

Mey Sophea, commander of the UXO Clearance Unit of the National Centre for Peacekeeping Force and Explosive Remnants of War Clearance (NPMEC-ERW), told The Post on March 23 that his specialist team was working with the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port’s specialist working group to determine the appropriate procedures to raise the warship. The wreck was old, dilapidated and damaged in many places.

According to Sophea under the instruction of Sar Kheng, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, he wants to keep the ship in its original shape to be displayed in a museum for future generations to study. A museum is planned to be built for storing and exhibiting unexploded ordnances.

He added that the working group is searching in four other locations in the Mekong River in Kandal and Prey Veng provinces.

“Now, we are collaborating with Phnom Penh autonomous port, because it has sufficient materials such as modern salvage equipment to raise the sunken ship as well as the technical skills. We have the expertise to extract munitions in water,” he said.

Neang Phat, permanent secretary of state at the Ministry of National Defence said in a meeting on March 22 that the warship lies at the bottom of 27.5m of water and is covered in sand.

“This warship is a remnant of the Cambodia civil war. The warship is too old, dilapidated and damaged in many places from shooting which caused it to sink during fighting,” he said.

According to the report, from October 2020 to early March 2021, the working group had extracted 15 UXO weighting 282kg as well as six human bones and some other war materials. Specialist forces would extract the last of the UXO from the warship in late March. The ship could then be raised and put ashore in April.


  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the