Search for 23 HTMS Sukhothai sailors resumes after 6 bodies found
The search for 23 missing sailors continued on Wednesday after six bodies and one survivor were plucked from the Gulf of Thailand on Tuesday after the HTMS Sukhothai sank in a storm.
The Royal Thai Navy named the survivor as Seaman Chananyu Kaensriya.
"The Navy is searching for the other 23 missing crewmembers," Admiral Choengchai Chomchoengpaet said during a press conference on Tuesday.
Navy personnel and volunteers launched the search mission after the Sukhothai, a Rattanakosin-class corvette, capsized during stormy weather with 106 crew onboard on Sunday night.
The ship sank some 20 nautical miles (32 kilometres) off the coast of Prachuap Khiri Khan’s Bang Saphan district.
The first of the 31 missing crew members was rescued on Monday night. Chief Petty Officer Natee Timdee was spotted floating unconscious and plucked from the sea before being taken to Bang Saphan Hospital.
Choengchai said the warship was on patrol when it began listing in strong winds and waves, causing seawater to flow through the ship and damage its electrical system.
"The crew were unable to drain seawater from the warship, causing the engine to stop and the ship to lose control," he said.
He said the Navy had launched a search and rescue mission with three ships – HTMS Angthong, Bhumibol Adulyadej and Kraburi – as well as helicopters and reconnaissance aircraft.
"The Navy also contacted cargo ships for help to tow HTMS Sukhothai back to shore.”
Choengchai added that the Navy had plenty of life rafts to rescue the crew, contradicting reports that no or few life rafts were launched from the stricken warship.
He vowed the Navy would not conceal information in its investigation and report on the sinking. Meanwhile the search would continue until all missing sailors are found.
The Navy has set up a disaster relief centre to take care of relatives of HTMS Sukhothai personnel, he added.