Urgent seek for greater than 2 dozen sailors lacking after Thai warship sinks
Bangkok — Thai navy ships and helicopters had been looking out on Monday for greater than two dozen sailors nonetheless lacking greater than 12 hours after a warship sank in tough seas in a single day within the Gulf of Thailand.
As of midday, 75 sailors from the HTMS Sukhothai corvette had been rescued and 31 had been nonetheless within the water, the navy mentioned. The excessive waves that brought about the accident had lessened since Sunday evening’s sinking however had been nonetheless excessive sufficient to hazard small boats, the navy mentioned.
Some sailors survived by leaping right into a life raft at evening, photographs shared by the Royal Thai Navy confirmed, in line with Agence France-Presse.
One crew member interviewed by Thai PBS tv mentioned he needed to float within the sea for 3 hours earlier than he was rescued. He mentioned the ship was buffeted by 10-foot-high waves because it was sinking Sunday evening, complicating rescue efforts.
“The waves are still high and we cannot search for them from the horizontal line. We have to fly the helicopters and search for them from a bird’s-eye view instead,” navy spokesman Adm. Pokkrong Monthatphalin advised Thai PBS.
Strong winds blew seawater onto the ship and knocked out its electrical system Sunday night, making it troublesome to manage. The navy dispatched three frigates and two helicopters with cellular pumping machines to attempt to help the disabled ship by eradicating seawater nevertheless it could not achieve this due to the sturdy winds.
The lack of energy enabled extra seawater to move into the vessel, inflicting it to listing and sink.
The warship had been on patrol 20 miles from the pier at Bangsaphan district in Prachuap Khiri Khan province. Pokkrong mentioned the ship had been on its common patrol to help any fishing boats needing assist.
“Our top priority now is to rescue all the sailors. We will plan to have the ship salvaged later,” he mentioned. The search was being carried out in an space of 6.2 sq. miles across the website of the sinking.
While northern and central Thailand are seeing their coldest temperatures of the 12 months, far southern Thailand has been experiencing storms and flooding in current days. Ships had been warned to remain ashore.
The Sukhothai was a U.S.-built corvette in use since 1987, the Reuters news company reviews. AFP says it was constructed by the now-defunct Tacoma Boatbuilding Company, in line with the US Naval Institute.
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