31 Thai sailors missing after vessel sank

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A naval spokesperson has revealed that at least 31 Thai Navy sailors have gone missing after their vessel sank off the southeastern coast of Thailand on Monday.

The HTMS Sukhothai was said to be patrolling the Gulf of Thailand, roughly 20 nautical miles from Bang Saphan pier in southern Prachuap Khiri Khan, when it ran into strong tides and sank on Sunday night.

Naval authorities said a rescue mission was launched after the vessel’s electronic system was damaged, with pictures shared by the navy showing the ship dramatically falling to one side.

Naval spokesperson, Admiral Pogkrong Montradpalin, said “We are still looking for 31 missing,” adding that ” ship sank shortly after midnight.

Montradpalin said earlier on Monday that “The ship’s operating systems stopped working, causing the ship to lose control”.

A statement from rescue officials said 75 of 106 personnel on board were pulled from the waters in a rescue operation involving two seahawk helicopters, two frigates and one amphibious ship, adding that the search-and-rescue operation, which began at 7 am, was ongoing.

It further said that about 11 naval personnel were being treated at Bang Saphan hospital, while some 40 others were being housed at shelters.

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