Dornier planes and Seahawk helicopters joined surface vessels in the search for the missing crew, all believed to be afloat in the stormy sea wearing life jackets, reports the Bangkok Post.
HTMS Sukhothai after the ship sank off Prachuap Khiri Khan about 11:30pm last night, navy spokesman Adm Pokkrong Monthatpalin said.
The corvette was on patrol about 20 nautical miles offshore from Bang Saphan district, Prachuap Khiri Khan province. It was pounded by high waves during the storm and listed about 60 degrees to starboard as seawater poured into the ship.
HTMS Sukhothai suffered a power blackout. The main engine stopped functioning and the ship floundered out of control. More water flowed into the vessel, which continued to list to starboard.
The navy launched an immediate rescue, dispatching HTMS Angthong, HTMS Bhumibol Adulyadej, HTMS Kraburi and two helicopters with rescue equipment to the scene.
HTMS Kraburi was first to arrive and began rescuing crew members from the sinking ship and from the sea. HTMS Sukhothai finally sank about 11:30pm.
A report on the rescue operation issued by the navy at 7am today said 78 the 106 crew of HTMS Sukhothai had been brought to the port of Bang Saphan in Prachuap Khiri Khan province. Three of them were seriously injured. The rest had not yet arrived.
A later update said 31 crew members were still missing and an air and sea search was underway to find and rescue them.
HTMS Sukhothai was built by Tacoma Boatbuilding Company, in Tacoma, Washington, USA, and commissioned on Feb 19, 1987. It had been in operation for nearly 36 years. It was equipped for air defence, sea combat and anti-submarine operations.