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Thai Warship Sinks, Hunt for 31 Sailors Still Missing

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Thai Warship Sinks in Heavy Seas, Leaving 31 Sailors Missing

(CTN News) – Several Thai sailors are reported missing after a Thai Navy warship sank in heavy seas, raising fears that dozens could be lost. A Thai warship capsized, and 31 sailors were missing.

After strong winds caused the HTMS Sukhothai, one of only seven navy corvettes, to tilt sharply toward the water, more than 100 sailors had to be saved, according to a statement from navy spokesman Pokkrong Monthatphalin.

Through a pipe, seawater entered the ship, cutting off the Sukhothai’s power and causing the crew to lose control, according to Monthatphalin. The boat soon started to capsize as water surged into the hull.

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The boat patrolled in central Thailand, about 20 miles (32 km) from Bang Saphan District. Since high waves and torrential rain were predicted for Sunday and Monday in the Gulf of Thailand, ferry services were suspended.

Videos and images posted of Thai Warship to social media show the Sukhothai listing with the sound of howling winds and shouting sailors in the background as it approaches a 60-degree angle to the water.

Must Read: Thai Navy Continues Search for Missing Sailors from HTMS Sukhothai

The HTMS Kraburi reached the Sukhothai just before it sank at around 11.30 p.m. as part of a rescue effort launched by the army with the assistance of three additional ships and two helicopters.

Although the navy initially stated that all crew members were safe, it later stated on Facebook that 31 people were still in need of rescue as of Monday morning.

Unknown when the picture was taken, it appeared on the Royal Thai Navy’s official Twitter account to show a small group of sailors sitting in a circular lifeboat while donning life jackets.

The navy reported that 40 crew members had been taken to a shelter while eleven received treatment at a nearby hospital.

According to Thai media outlet Khaosod English, the incident marks the first sinking of a Thai warship since the Second World War, when an American submarine torpedoed the HTMS Samui near Malaysia and killed 31 sailors.

The US-built Sukhothai, outfitted with various missiles, naval guns, and torpedoes, was put into service in 1987.

According to the US Naval Institute, the Thai navy maintains six additional corvettes, three of which were built locally.

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