Navy sends Seafox drone to capture video of HTMS Sukhothai on seabed
The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) will today use a Seafox underwater drone to record seabed footage of the HTMS Sukhothai in the Gulf of Thailand to determine the cause of sinking.
The warship went down on Sunday about 20 nautical miles off Prachuap Khiri Khan province after it was knocked over by four-metre waves and strong winds. The vessel suffered an engine malfunction as it took on water.
The US-made corvette, in use since 1987, was carrying 105 military personnel. So far, the bodies of six Navy sailors have been fished from the water and taken for autopsy, while the search for 23 missing crew from the Sukhothai continues.
On Thursday morning, the RTN said the drone will be launched later today if weather and sea conditions are optimal. It expected the unmanned machine to cover an area of 3-4 square nautical miles on the seabed, provided the water is not too muddy.
The RTN expects footage collected by the underwater drone to provide swift answers on why the warship sank.
The search and rescue mission resumed on Thursday, with the Navy dispatching six ships, two Dornier amphibious aircrafts, two rescue helicopters, and an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to scour the area around the spot where the Sukhothai went down. The Royal Thai Air Force also joined the search efforts, deploying a plane and a helicopter.