Thailand navy searches for 31 lacking sailors after warship sinks


Naval vessel HTMS Sukhothai capsizes in excessive waves late on Sunday whereas patrolling the Gulf of Thailand.

Thai navy ships and helicopters are looking for 31 sailors lacking after their warship sank in tough seas within the Gulf of Thailand.

The HTMS Sukhothai capsized late on Sunday whereas it was on patrol about 37km (22 miles) off the nation’s southeastern coast.

As of Monday afternoon, 75 sailors serving on the corvette had been rescued and 31 have been nonetheless lacking, the navy stated. High waves that precipitated the accident had lessened because the sinking however have been nonetheless excessive sufficient to hazard small boats, the navy stated.

An announcement from the air pressure on Monday stated it was helping within the operation. It didn’t give particulars.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha stated the reason for the incident was being investigated. “I am following the news closely,” he stated in a press release. “About five people are seriously injured.”

A rescued crew member interviewed by Thai PBS tv stated he floated within the sea for 3 hours earlier than he was rescued. He stated the ship was buffeted by waves three metres (10 toes) excessive because it was sinking.

“The waves are still high and we cannot search for them from the horizontal line,” navy spokesman Pokkrong Monthatphalin informed Thai PBS. “We have to fly the helicopters and search for them from a bird’s eye view instead.”

Army Personnel And Rescue Crew Gather At A Makeshift Rescue Operation Site During The Search For Survivors Of The Capsizing Of The Thai Naval Vessel Htms Sukhothai About 37 Kilometres (22 Miles) Off The Southeastern Coast On Sunday Night, At Bang Saphan Pier In Prachuap Khiri Khan District, On December 19, 2022. - Thai Military Frigates And Helicopters Were On December 19 Searching For 31 Sailors After A Naval Vessel Sank, With Dozens Of Others Having Been Hauled From Choppy Waters. (Photo By Lillian Suwanrumpha / Afp)
Military personnel and rescue crews have been deployed to seek for survivors of the capsizing of the HTMS Sukhothai [Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP]

Eleven of the rescued sailors have been being handled in hospital. The navy denied an area media report that one demise had been confirmed, saying the fatality was from an accident involving one other boat.

Thailand’s Meteorological Department had issued a climate advisory for the final space only a few hours earlier than the accident, saying thundershowers have been anticipated within the Gulf of Thailand together with waves 2 to four metres (7 to 14 toes) excessive. It steered that every one ships “proceed with caution” and warned small craft to not go to sea till Tuesday.

The Sukhothai was in-built Tacoma, Washington, within the United States and was commissioned in 1987. It is a midsized corvette, an armed vessel usually used for patrolling near shore waters. It has a most displacement of 959 tonnes and a size of 76.eight metres (252 toes).

The warship had been on patrol 32km (20 miles) from the pier in Bangsaphan district in Prachuap Khiri Khan province. Pokkrong stated the ship had been on an everyday patrol to help any fishing boats needing assist.

“Our top priority now is to rescue all the sailors,” he stated. “We will plan to have the ship salvaged later.”

Northern and central Thailand are seeing their coldest temperatures of the 12 months, and much southern Thailand has been experiencing storms and flooding in latest days.