More than 30 People Reportedly Still in the Sea After Navy Ship Capsizes off of Prachuap Khiri Khan

Prachuap Khiri Khan –

A Royal Thai Navy ship capsized off of the Bang Saphan district. 73 crew members have been rescued while approximately 33 are still in the sea.

The Royal Thai Navy Admiral Pokkrong Monthatpalin reported this morning (December 19) that the corvette HTMS Sukhothai navy ship capsized last night around 11:30 P.M (December 18) due to strong waves causing it to list onto its side. Water leaking into the boat caused an electric malfunction and blackout, according to the Royal Thai Navy. The ship sank shortly afterward. 73 navy officers have been rescued while 33 are still in the sea. Four of those rescued were reportedly seriously injured with injuries such as broken legs and major loss of blood.

The exact location of the capsizing was about twenty nautical miles offshore of the Bang Saphan District in Prachuap Khiri Khan.  The incident had begun around 5:16 P.M. yesterday, December 18th, when seawater first began to enter the Sukhothai. The engine stopped and the blackout took place around 6:17 PM, and rescue ships began to move to the location of the Sukhothai. At 19:56 The Sukhothai tilted to 45 degrees and at 21:03 the Sukhothai tilted to 80 degrees. Life rafts and boats began to be deployed and by 11:46 PM the Sukhothai had officially sunk. Tugboats from Bang Saphan were immediately assisting in rescuing people from the sea. Rescue operations continued overnight.

The ship was on the way to Chonburi to join a commemorative ceremony to mark the 100th anniversary of the passing away of Prince Abhakara Kiartivongse, Prince of Chumphon, who is ‘The Father of the Thai Navy’.

A rescue operation involving HTMS Angthong, HTMS Bhumibol Adulyadej, HTMS Kraburi, and more was launched late last night and continues throughout today. Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Area 4 is now involved in the recovery operation as well as on land giving assistance to sailors brought to safety.

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan O’Cha has stated that he would like to give encouragement to all the lost troops and is hoping that the Royal Thai Navy will be able to assist in finding all those still missing.

This is a developing story and we will provide more details as they are released.

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Goong Nang is a News Translator who has worked professionally for multiple news organizations in Thailand for many years and has worked with The Pattaya News for more than three years. Specializes primarily in local news for Phuket, Pattaya, and also national news, with emphasis on translation between Thai to English and working as an intermediary between reporters and English-speaking writers. Originally from Nakhon Si Thammarat, but lives in Phuket and Krabi except when commuting between the three.