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Thai Navy Rescues Seaman Found Floating With 6 Dead Compatriots

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Thai Navy Rescues Seaman Found Floating With 6 Dead Compatriots

Seven navy crew members of the ill-fated HTMS Sukhothai were discovered drifting in the Gulf of Thailand, with only one of them surviving, Adm Cholathit Navanukroh, Chief-of-Staff of the Royal Thai Navy told a press briefing.

Adm Cholathit, stated that the Royal Thai Navy will conduct an investigation to determine the exact cause of the vessel’s sinking as well as into a report that there were insufficient life vests on board for all 106 crew members. He insisted on a straightforward and transparent investigation.

The admiral revealed some details about the events leading up to the ship’s sinking, stating that the HTMS Sukhothai took in a lot of seawater through the bow, causing damage to the electrical and engine systems. The crew attempted to pump out the water, but the inflow was too strong.


“When the ship could not pump sufficient water out, it became uncontrollable because the water had flooded the engines and all but one stopped functioning. “Control of the rudder was lost, and the ship eventually lost all power, drifting and listing in the sea, as seen in media coverage,” the commander-in-chief said.

When the ship first developed problems, he said, a call for assistance was sent to the First Area Command and HTMS Kraburi, which was about 32 kilometers away at Bang Saphan deep-sea port, and Kraburi was sent for assistance, but was hampered by rough seas.

Then, two other ships, Ang Thong and Bhumibol, as well as a plane and a helicopter, were dispatched to assist. The HTMS Sukhothai had listed by about 60 degrees, forcing the captain to issue the order to abandon ship.


He stated that the ship had six life rafts, each of which could only hold 15 seamen, 90 of the 106 crew. He also stated that the crew did not abandon ship right away because they were expecting a tug boat to tow their ship to safety.

When the ship began to list heavily and sink from the stern, chaos ensued because crew members who did not have life vests were ordered to use the life rafts, while others were swept into the sea by the waves.

Some attempted to swim toward the HTMS Kraburi, and small boats were dispatched to rescue those in the water.

A tug boat, a freighter, and an oil tanker rescued about 20 people from their life rafts after responding to the ill-fated ship’s SOS signal. On Sunday, 75 crew members were rescued, with 30 still missing and believed to be drifting at sea.

Adm Cholathit also stated that the navy is currently focusing on the search, hoping to find all of the missing men. After that mission was completed, the navy ship would be refloated, which would necessitate the formation of a technical committee for assessment and planning.

If the rescue mission took too long, a salvage operation could be carried out at the same time. An investigation would be conducted to determine whether any oil had leaked from the ship into the sea, as well as whether any of the ship’s operating systems had been damaged.

According to a navy spokesman, the ship’s lack of heavy weaponry, such as rockets, harpoon missile launchers, torpedoes, or large ammunition, was fortunate.


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