Join our brand new verified AMN Telegram channel and get important news uncensored!

Dozens of sailors missing after Thai warship sinks during severe weather, officials say

HTMS Sukhothai (Royal Thai Navy/Twitter)

A Thai warship carrying over a hundred sailors capsized late on Sunday, Dec. 18, prompting a large-scale rescue operation, officials said. Dozens are still missing and several injuries have been reported.

Forceful winds and waves caused the vessel, the HTMS Sukhothai, an American-made corvette, to take on water and sink shortly before midnight in the Gulf of Thailand, according to a statement from the Royal Thai Navy.

Of the 106 sailors onboard, 75 were rescued by nearby ships, while 31 remained in the sea, officials said on Dec. 19. No deaths have been reported.

Reconnaissance aircraft transported at least 11 individuals to nearby hospitals for treatment, officials said.

The search effort was still underway as of Monday morning, officials said. The water where the ship sunk is about 130 feet deep.

All aboard were believed to be wearing life jackets, according to the Bangkok Post. A photo shared by the Thai Navy showed several individuals in life jackets inside a life raft at night.

An additional ship may have also sunk in the severe weather, the outlet reported.

The ship, equipped with cannons, machine guns and missile launchers, was built in the United States by the Tacoma Boatbuilding company in 1986, according to the Nation Thailand. The Thai Navy owns six other corvettes.

The southeast Asian nation, a long-time American ally in the region, purchases billions of dollars worth of military equipment from the United States and the two countries participate in hundreds of joint exercises, according to the State Department.

Despite the long-running partnership, some American officials are concerned that the kingdom may be drifting into China’s orbit, according to Foreign Policy.

Google Translate was used to translate statements from the Thai Navy.


© 2022 The Charlotte Observer

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC