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One sailor rescued, six bodies retrieved

PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN: One sailor was rescued while the bodies of six others among 30 missing were retrieved yesterday (Dec 20) after a Thai warship capsized in choppy seas during a storm, according to the Royal Thai Navy.

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By Bangkok Post

Wednesday 21 December 2022, 10:05AM


A sailor from HTMS ‘Sukhothai’, which sank on Sunday evening about 20 nautical miles off the coast of Prachuap Khiri Khan, is taken by air from the province to Queen Sirikit Naval Hospital in Chon Buri for treatment yesterday (Dec 20). Photo: Chaiyot Pupattanapong

A sailor from HTMS ‘Sukhothai’, which sank on Sunday evening about 20 nautical miles off the coast of Prachuap Khiri Khan, is taken by air from the province to Queen Sirikit Naval Hospital in Chon Buri for treatment yesterday (Dec 20). Photo: Chaiyot Pupattanapong

The navy is now focused on rescuing the remaining 23 sailors after HTMS Sukhothai sank during the storm in the Gulf of Thailand off the coast of Prachuap Khiri Khan on Sunday, spokesman Adm Pokkrong Monthatpalin said.

On Monday, 31 of the sunken corvette’s complement of 106 sailors and marines were initially reported missing. The number was reduced to 30 after one was later rescued by HTMS Kraburi off Prachuap Khiri Khan, reports the Bangkok Post.

Another seven were found yesterday in the area where the ship went down, with only one still alive, navy chief Adm Choengchai Chomchoengpaet said. He expressed his deepest regret over the casualties and extended his condolences to their families.

“I’d like to express my deepest condolences to all the families of the deceased among the crew of HTMS Sukhothai,” said Adm Choengchai.

Adm Choengchai said a fact-finding probe would be launched, including reports of an insufficient number of life jackets on the ship.

A source said the survivor, a ship inspector, revealed the vessel was unable to anchor off a beach, so it needed to head back to Sattahip.

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At that time, a detachment of marines decided to head back there with the ship, increasing the number of crew on board.

This meant that despite there being 70 life jackets available, there were not enough to go around after the ship capsized in the storm, said the source.

The navy chief said His Majesty the King has placed the injured sailors under royal patronage, and Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn Krom Phra Srisavangavadhana has provided medicine and other items.

Adm Chonlathit Nawanukhro, the navy’s chief-of-staff, said the bodies were being sent to be formally identified.

He said the navy remains hopeful more survivors will be found.

He also thanked the navies of other countries that had offered to assist in the search for the missing sailors.

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JohnC | 22 December 2022 - 09:46:15

Would also be interesting to see what their safety drill training matrix looked like. How often they conducted drills in abandon ship, fire fighting, man overboard, injured crew member medical evacuation, chemical spills, etc. They are a weekly requirement that MUST be done to keep crew ready for any situation and emergency.

JohnC | 22 December 2022 - 09:39:13

Worldwide saftey standards (solas, IMO) require vessels to carry more than one life jacket per crew member and/or passenge rplus other survival craft. Should be enough extras to replace any damaged or malfunctioning ones and for unexpected extras, and distributed in multiple areas around the ship in places easy to get to in an emergency plus in each cabin by # of bunks. Can never have to many!

 

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