Rescuers are still searching for 30 missing sailors after ship sinks off Thailand

Access to the comments Comments
By Euronews
The HTMS Sukhothai corvette warship off the coast of Prachuap Khiri Khan province, Thailand. Photo courtesy of Royal Thai Navy.
The HTMS Sukhothai corvette warship off the coast of Prachuap Khiri Khan province, Thailand. Photo courtesy of Royal Thai Navy.   -  Copyright  AP via Royal Thai Navy

The Royal Thai Navy is desperately searching for at least 30 sailors after one of its ships sunk in the Gulf of Thailand.

The operation has been underway since Sunday, and they have so far rescued 75 people.

One man was found unconscious in the water, with only his life jacket keeping him afloat. He has since woken up and was taken to a hospital after he was reportedly able to walk on his own.

The HTMS Sukhothai was carrying 106 people before its crew lost control of the vessel after high waves caused water to get into its engine room.

It then sank some 37 kilometres off the coast of Prachuap Khiri Khan province, southwest of Bangkok.

“The waves are still high, and we cannot search for them from the horizontal line. We have to fly the helicopters and search for them from a bird’s eye view instead,” Pokkrong Monthatphalin, a navy spokesperson said.

The exact details of the incident are still unclear. According to one sailor who spoke to a local television station, there were not enough life jackets onboard because more people were on the ship than usual.

“[For] this operation, they added staff from the Marine Corps and Air and Coastal Defence Command, about 30 people. This is why I think there were not enough life jackets,” Navy Commander Adm. Choengchai Chomchoengpaet said in an interview with another station.

The rescue effort, which includes several navy vessels and aircraft, is focused on an area around 30 kilometres south of the boat’s last location.

Watch Euronews’ report in the video player above to learn more.