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Thailand: 31 missing off the coast after a military ship capsized

Thailand: 31 missing off the coast after a military ship capsized

On Monday evening, the Royal Thai Navy was still trying to find 31 people missing after a military ship sank in the Gulf of Thailand, while dozens were rescued in rough seas.

About 31 of the 106 crew members HTML Sukhothai This afternoon, several hours after the start of the search, Admiral Pokrong Montradbalin, a spokesman for the Royal Thai Navy, said.

Searches continued Monday evening.

And during the night from Sunday to Monday, the crew “lost” control of the ship, which began to sink shortly after midnight, about thirty kilometers from the coast, in Bang Saban, in the province of Prachuap Khiri Khan (south).

He explained that in a turbulent sea, the electrical system of the patrol plane was damaged to the point of causing the mechanisms to stop to ensure their operation.

Pictures released by the Navy show the ship, fully tilted on one side, and half submerged.

“The waves were very high, about three metres, when the ship sank,” a rescued sailor, sitting in the back of an ambulance, with a blanket over his shoulders, told state broadcaster TyPBS.

“When the boat started to sink, I put on a life jacket and jumped out. I swam for three hours,” he described, explaining that one of the lifeboats couldn’t get close enough because of the waves.

In the afternoon, some of the crew members were airlifted to a navy-run military hospital in Sattahip (East).

“I am following the information carefully. There are about five serious casualties,” said Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha, a former army general who also serves as defense minister.

The rescue mission rescued approximately 75 people, which included two military helicopters, two frigates and an amphibious vessel sent to the scene, according to a statement from the Navy.

According to the official footage, some of them jumped into the lifeboats in the middle of the night.

On Monday, the Air Force announced its participation in the rescue operation, without providing further details.

The search is concentrated on an area of ​​about 32 km by 24, about 30 km south of the last site HTML Sukhothai.

“The operation will also cover the areas where the last crew members were found,” the navy spokesman added.

the HTML SukhothaiAmerican-made, entered service in 1987, according to Think tank US Naval Institute.

Several areas in southern Thailand have been affected by thunderstorms and torrential rains in recent days, causing in particular the suspension of ferry traffic between the mainland and the tourist island of Koh Samui on Sunday and Monday.

Thailand’s meteorological service warned Monday that small boats should not sail in the Gulf of Thailand due to thunderstorms.

In one of the worst shipwrecks in the country’s history, more than forty tourists died in July 2018 near Phuket.