31 sailors are missing after a Thai Navy warship capsized and later sank, carrying 106 crew. During the patrol, the ship was hit by a storm in the Gulf of Thailand. The sailors lost control of the ship after the power controls flooded.
The incident happened around 23:30 local time, Sunday (10 pm, Sunday, New Delhi). The authorities informed the media that a rescue operation is ongoing. It’s been more than 12 hours, 75 crew members have been rescued but 31 are still missing in the aggressive sea.
The rescue team kept searching for the survivors throughout the night, with the mission still continuing with the help of air forces. The Navy officially announced that they will investigate the cause of the disaster.
Navy spokesperson Admiral Pogkrong Monthardpalin told the media that such an incident has never happened in their force’s history, especially with the ship still being active. Officials said that the ship was on a 32 km patrol to the east of Bang Saphan, Prachuap Khiri Khan province.
After being hit by a storm, water flooded the ship’s hull and short-circuited the power room. The crew lost power and struggled to regain control over the ship but failed and the ship overturned to its side.
Following the Mayday call, three naval ships and helicopters immediately proceeded to assist, but only HTMS Kraburi reached in time. HTMS Sukhothai sank after some time. The pictures and videos posted by the Thai Navy’s official Twitter account show the warship tilted and rescue ships trying to find the survivors.
Crew members found in life rafts and water, wearing life jackets were picked up by frigates. The Navy has not disclosed much information other than scant details.
On Monday, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said that he is following the incident closely and officials are investigating the disaster. According to his statement, five sailors are seriously injured.