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Thai Navy warship sinks in severe weather, at lease 31 sailors missing

A Royal Thai Navy warship sank in severe weather early Monday, leaving 33 of its crew of 106 sailors missing in stormy seas in the Gulf of Thailand, Thai authorities said. Three rescued sailors were in critical condition, and a search operation was underway for the missing crew, authorities said.

Thai Navy warship sinks in severe weather at lease 31 sailors missing gcw
First Published Dec 19, 2022, 2:10 PM IST

At least 31 Thai Navy sailors were missing on Monday after their vessel sank off the southeastern coast of Thailand, a naval spokesperson said.  The HTMS Sukhothai ran into heavy tides late on Sunday night while patrolling the Gulf of Thailand, around 20 nautical miles south of Bang Saphan Pier in Prachuap Khiri Khan.

The ship's electrical system was destroyed, leading to the beginning of a rescue effort. The navy released photos showing the ship severely heeling to one side. Admiral Pogkrong Montradpalin, a spokeswoman for the navy, claimed that the ship sank just after midnight and added, "We are still seeking for 31 missing."

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“The ship’s operating systems stopped working, causing the ship to lose control," he said earlier Monday morning.

According to a statement, a rescue effort comprising two seahawk helicopters, two frigates, and one amphibious ship managed to remove 75 out of the 106 people on board. The statement also said that the search and rescue effort, which began at 7 am, was still in progress. At Bang Saphan hospital, around 11 naval men were receiving care, while about 40 others were staying in shelters.

The severe weather in the Gulf of Thailand, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) from Bang Saphan District, Prachuap Khiri Khan province, continued into late Monday morning, hampering search efforts for the missing crew, authorities said. The 960-ton Sukhothai was built in the United States and commissioned into the Thai navy in 1987.

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