PRACHUAP KHAN: Six bodies have been found and one survivor was rescued on Tuesday, after the sinking of a naval vessel two days ago in the Gulf of Thailand, the Thai navy said.
Seventy-six sailors from the HTMS Sukhothai have been hauled from the sea after the vessel went down late on Sunday roughly 37 kilometres off the country’s southeastern coast. There were 23 personnel still missing, a navy spokesperson said.
Helicopters, two planes, and four ships — the HTMS Kraburi, HTMS Angthong, HTMS Naresuan and HTMS Bhumibol Adulyadej — continued searching for survivors on Tuesday.
The bodies of four men were recovered, commander-in-chief of the Royal Thai Navy Choengchai Chomchoengpaet told a press conference in Bangkok. The navy later revised the toll upwards to six dead.
“We will keep going until the mission is complete and we bring our people back,” Choengchai said.
A helicopter transported the deceased to a naval pier late on Tuesday night, where a fleet of ambulances waited to take them to a local hospital for autopsies. The Sukhothai was carrying extra personnel as it was joining an anniversary celebration of the navy’s founder, said Choengchai, admitting that there were insufficient life jackets onboard. “Having a life vest doesn’t mean you won’t die,” he said.
Admiral Chonlathis Navanugraha called the incident “one of the most severe tragedies” in the navy’s history.
The vessel — a corvette, the smallest type of military warship — ran into trouble after its electronics system was damaged.
“Crews pumped out the water, but it flowed in quickly, leaving the ship heeling at a 60-degree angle,” commander-in-chief Choengchai said at a Bangkok press conference. Published in Dawn, December 21st, 2022