Thailand continues to investigate the sinking of the corvette HTMS Sukhothai

Photo captions
The corvette HTMS Sukhothai was tilted after water flooded its hull off the coast of Prachuap Khiri Khan province, Thailand on the night of December 18, 2022. Photo: AFP/VNA

The HTMS Sukhothai sank late on December 18 after encountering 4m high waves and strong winds about 20 nautical miles off the coast of Thailand’s Prachuap Khiri Khan province. Before sinking, the ship had 1 engine failure.

The investigative committee, led by Chief of Staff of the Naval Forces, Admiral Chonlathit Nawanukhro, has so far questioned 289 officers, including those involved in the rescue operation.

Admiral Choengchai said initial findings showed that water flooded the ship during the storm, causing the ship to sink. However, the investigation is still incomplete as it is necessary to bring the ship to shore to collect more information.

The Royal Thai Navy plans to spend about 200 million baht (nearly 6 million USD) to salvage the HTMS Sukhothai with the requirement to ensure that the ship is as intact as possible after the salvage and has not been disassembled in any way. any way. To date, there are about 12 bidders that can meet this criterion. However, the Royal Thai Navy is still considering whether to use the reserve budget or petition the government to support the above funding.

One question at the moment is whether the HTMS Sukhothai is equipped with about 130 life jackets to serve the 105 crew on board. However, according to Admiral Choengchai, it is not clear why some sailors did not wear life jackets when the ship was sinking.

Currently, the navy is still trying to find 5 people still missing. Of the 105 crew members, 76 were rescued and 24 others perished.

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