SUNDAY, April 14, 2024
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Navy says ‘HTMS Sukhothai’ was fully repaired before being recommissioned

Navy says ‘HTMS Sukhothai’ was fully repaired before being recommissioned

The Royal Thai Navy on Thursday rejected a report on a Facebook page that the doomed “HTMS Sukhothai” was not fit for operation as its steel hull had eroded at 13 spots.

The Royal Thai Naval Dockyard issued a statement to affirm that "HTMS Sukhothai" had been fully repaired and met the safety standards before it was recommissioned in the Royal Thai Fleet on January 28, 2021.

The corvette sank some 20 nautical miles (32 kilometres) in a stormy sea off the coast of Bang Saphan district in Prachuap Khiri Khan province on December 18 with 105 crew onboard. So far, 76 members of the crew have been rescued and brought safely to shore, while 24 sailors have been declared dead and five missing. Since December 29, no bodies have been found.

A Facebook page hinted that the capsize might have been caused by the fact that 13 spots in its hull were more than 25% thinner than the original hull.

Vice Admiral Sutthisak Bunnag, commander of the Royal Thai Naval Dockyard, said on Thursday that the report on the Facebook page was incomplete.

He explained that HTMS Sukhothai was at the Mahidol Adulyadej dry dock for routine maintenance from July 12 to September 3, 2021 and the maintenance operation did find erosion in 13 spots, which were 25% thinner than the original hull.

But the corvette had been repaired and tested for safety before it was returned to the Royal Thai Fleet, Sutthisak insisted.

 

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