Ceremony held to lay to rest the spirits of those who have perished in Samaesarn Bay

Patcharapol Panrak

Nine-nine monks conducted a religious festival at sea on February 3, with 149 fishing boats joining the warship HTMS Matapon while a ceremony was held to lay to rest the spirits of all those who have died in Samaesarn Bay over the years, and to ensure a safe passage for all the boats sailing there.
Abbot Wisatsutakorn of Chong Samaesarn Temple, in Samaesarn, Sattahip led the ceremony, which was attended by Vice Admiral Jumnong Kittipeerachol, commander of the First Naval Area Command, Vice Admiral Chanchai Charoensuwan, commander of Sattahip Naval Base, Admiral Ditawat Wongsuwan, advisor to the Royal Thai Navy, Sontaya Khunplome, former Minister of Tourism and Sport, and Santsak Ngampiches, former Minister of Public Health.
Prasert Pitakkorn, head of the Samaesarn Administration Organization, said that thousands of people have perished in the bay over the years, and that making merit was a way of ensuring their souls rested in peace and that the lives of the local community and the fishermen were not troubled by restless spirits.
In former times, said Prasert, Chong Plawai in Samaesarn Bay was used as a navigation point for junks and other cargo boats plying their trade between Siam and China. Chong Plawai was also a pirates’ lair, where robbers lay in wait for boats that they boarded, throwing the bodies of the crew overboard where they were often eaten by sharks. In more modern times, fishing vessels have also been attacked and robbed, and their crews dumped into the sea. The bay, he said, was an ocean tomb.
Two days later, on February 5, a wooden charm bearing the image of HRH Prince Chumporn, Father of the Royal Thai Navy, went on sale at the temple for the price of 299 baht. Priest Wisartsutakorn said the funds raised would be used to construct a hall that would be dedicated to the spirits of all those who had perished in Samaesarn Bay.

Pattaya Mail