A BIG SEARCH CONTINUES for 30 crewmembers of HTMS 442 Sukhothai that sank after being pounded by four-metre high waves with the strong wind and waves having initially hindered reaching the spot where the Thai navy’s corvette had sunk, Amarin TV said today (Dec. 20).
The navy’s spokesman Adm. Kruang Monthatphlin said just when the warship sank there were five other vessels nearby, with three being fishing boats and two container ships, but they too were not able to get close to the corvette to help because of these huge waves.
Today, because these waves are still high, the navy had to send large warships to search for the missing crewmembers with these being HTMS Bhumibol Adulyadej, HTMS Ang Thong, HTMS Kraburi and HTMS Naresuan.
The search zone too has been expanded from yesterday with the focus now being on coastal areas calculated on the direction of wind and waves on top of the spot where the corvette sank.
Of the 105 crewmembers 75 had been assisted with search continuing for 30 others.
The navy has set up three rescue centres responsible for coordinating the search and rescue operation and provide assistance to the officers and their families with these being:
– Naval Operations Centre Region 1 at Sattahip, Chonburi province, telephone numbers 038-438-008 and 065-693-3630;
– Naval Operations Centre Region 1 in Prachuap Khiri Khan province, telephone numbers 089-035-3643 and 094-672-2662
– Coordination and Assistance Centre at the Commissioned Club of Royal Thai Navy Fleet, Sattahip district, Chonburi Province, telephone numbers 038-182-435 and 084-002-3554.
Top, below and Front Page: HTMS 442 Sukhothai sailing in calm waters and listing before sinking. Photos: Sanook.com
Insert: Adm. Kruang Monthatphlin. The Thai headline says, “Detailed search continues.” Photo: Amarin TV