6 dead, 23 missing after Thai warship sinks

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The Royal Thai Navy said Tuesday that six bodies have been recovered and 23 other crew members remain missing after one of its ships sank in the Gulf of Thailand amid rough seas on Sunday.

So far, more than 70 crew members of the Sukhothai corvette have been rescued. Search and rescue efforts are continuing by air and sea, with rescue workers sent off the coast of Prachuap Khiri Khan Province in central Thailand.

“We are confident that there is still hope,” Adm. Choengchai Chomchoengpaet, the navy’s commander-in-chief, said at a news conference, adding that the search mission will continue until all who are missing are found.

The warship, built in the United States, was carrying 105 personnel when strong winds and high waves rushed water into the engine room, causing the boat to sink from the stern about 37 kilometers off the provincial coast, according to the navy.

The ship was carrying out a patrol at the time of the accident and had fewer life jackets prepared than the number of crew members on board.

The Sukhothai had been used for 36 years, close to its service age of 40. However, the navy said the machines on board were still in good condition, and it had planned to extend the vessel’s usage period.




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