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Thai Navy Recovers 5 More Bodies From Sunken Warship, Captain Send Message

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Thai Navy Recovers 5 More Bodies From Sunken Warship

As the search for the missing 18 navy seamen of the HTMS Sukhothai entered its sixth day, five more bodies were discovered at sea, bringing the death toll to 11. According to Navy Adm Pokkrong Monthatpalin, the bodies were discovered by naval ships and aircraft during a search mission.

They were recovered by the HTMS Taksin and HTMS Kraburi. Adm Pokkrong expressed gratitude to all parties for their assistance in the search and rescue operation. The HTMS Sukhothai, which had 105 people on board, went down in rough seas off the coast of Prachuap Khiri Khan’s Bang Saphan district on Sunday night.

Seventy-six people were rescued, 11 were found dead, and 18 to date are still missing.

Surat Thani governor Witchawut Jinto said yesterday that a backpack belonging to a sailor on the stricken ship washed up on Koh Tao’s Thian beach.

Thai Navy

The backpack, discovered by tourists and turned over to authorities, contained a wallet and a naval identification card belonging to Thaweesak sae Sieaw, a crew member of the HTMS Sukhothai.

A life jacket from the HTMS Sukhothai was discovered in the sea off Koh Tao in Surat Thani on Friday by a fisherman who spotted the vest floating 25 nautical miles (50 kilometers) from the island.

Mr Witchawut directed that an operation base for the navy’s search drones be established on Samret beach in Tha Chana district to search for the missing. The base was established in response to an analysis of wave and wind activity from December 24-26.

Meanwhile, the Thai Maritime Enforcement Command Centre (Thai-MECC) Region 2 mobilised resources and equipment to assist local fishermen in the Ban Don area of Surat Thani.

Fishermen and residents in the coastal districts of Tha Chana, Chaiya, Tha Chang, Phun Phin, Don Sak, Koh Samui, and Koh Phangang were asked to notify authorities if they discovered any bodies or materials associated with the sunken vessel.

A police spokesman, Pol Maj Gen Atchayon Kraithong, said yesterday that the bodies would be identified using the disaster victim identification process.

He said the seventh body, discovered on Friday, had arrived at Bangkok’s Police Institute of Forensic Medicine and would most likely be released to the family today.

Meanwhile, according to a source, the navy is surveying the wreck site to gather information for its investigation into the sinking of the HTMS Sukhothai, which lies horizontally about 40 meters beneath the water.

The survey results can also be used to determine whether a salvage mission is feasible. The navy, on the other hand, will have to hire a private contractor to carry out the operation, which will take months to plan if it goes ahead.

Admiral Choengchai Chomchoengpaet, Commander-in-Chief of the RTN, is scheduled to preside over the Royally-sponsored cremation of three naval officers at Sattahip naval base in Chon Buri.

Rear Adm Samoraphum Chantho, deputy commander of the Marine Corps, presided over the Royally-sponsored cremation of Chief Petty Officer First Class Somkiat Maichob at Rao Nakhon Temple in Surin Province.

Captain of Sunken Navy Warship Sends Message

Captain of Sunken Navy Warship Sends Message

The captain of the sunken navy warship HTMS Sukhothai has sent a message to the sailors who are still missing, as the search and rescue operation focuses on areas near shore.

“Please return. We’re all waiting for you, “Capt Pichitchai Thuennadee said in a video clip circulated among Royal Thai Navy circles before being posted on the navy’s Facebook page on Sunday. His tone was solemn, but it conveyed his determination to see them again.

Other navy soldiers were also seen searching for missing sailors as part of the “bring our brothers home” operation.

“I’m hoping for a miracle like I’ve seen in movies,” one crew officer said. “I hope they’re stranded somewhere and trying to find their way home,” the soldier added.

The warship, which had 105 sailors and other soldiers on board, went down in stormy seas and rough weather last Sunday night off the coast of Prachuap Khiri Khan’s Bang Saphan district.

The incident claimed 14 lives, eight of which are still being identified, and 15 are still missing. Seventy-six other people survived.

The most recent two bodies were discovered on Saturday night and were scheduled to be transported to the field operations center in Bang Saphan on Sunday.

Vice Adm Pichai Lorchusakul, commander of the First Naval Area Command, told a press conference at the center on Sunday that the operation will cover all beaches, islands, and seas from Bang Saphan to Surathani.

“We will focus heavily on the shorelines and areas adjacent to them,” he stated flatly.

Due to poor visibility beneath the surface and rough seas in the area, Vice Adm Pichai said the decision to send divers to check the sunken vessel on the sea bed was put on hold as of Sunday afternoon. “We’ll be ready for the dive if the visibility improves. However, the safety of the soldiers must come first.”

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