Four dead as Thai navy continues search for missing sailors

PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN: Four bodies were found in the Gulf of Thailand on Tuesday, Thais Navy said, after the sinking of the navy ship two days ago.
More than 70 survivors from HTMS Sukhothai have been pulled from the sea since the ship sank late Sunday, about 37 kilometers (22 miles) off Thailand’s southeast coast.
Rescuers by helicopter, two planes and four ships – HTMS Kraburi, HTMS Angthong, HTMS Naresuan and HTMS Bhumibol Adulyadej – are combing the turbulent waters for more than 20 sailors still missing, the navy said. .
“Four were found dead,” Royal Thai Navy Commander-in-Chief Choengchai Chomchoengpaet told a news conference in Bangkok.
Earlier Tuesday, naval commander Pichai Lorchusakul confirmed that rescuers had found Chananyu Gansriya, 23, from Loei province, in good health.
“I believe this is good news as we can find more people,” he said, adding that Chananyu is being cared for aboard HTMS Angthong.
Efforts to find the missing crew have focused on aerial searches, with the support of the Royal Thai Air Force, which has been affected by strong winds.
Families ‘hopefully’
At a pier in Prachuap Khiri Khan province, families of the missing were anxiously waiting for news.
Siri EsaThe mother of 21-year-old Saharat Esa, who was on the ship, had a smile on her face when she heard the news of the latest rescue.
“I also have faith in my son. This is good news,” she said.
Navy spokesman Pogkrong Montradpalin said Tuesday’s waves were still high, noting that the search area had expanded and was focusing “on the area near the coast, depending on currents and winds”.
Another naval officer, Narong Khumburi, had earlier expressed hope that more survivors would be found, as they had life jackets – “But I suppose they must be exhausted.”
Sahachart Limcharoenphakdeea member of the National Institute of Emergency Medicine, said they are working with naval personnel to care for those rescued from the waters.
“I have hope and faith in the naval rescue team, who are very talented,” he said of the search for survivors.
Local doctors have checked the health of those who have been rescued before, some of which have been transferred to hospitals.
Some “have broken bones in their arms and fingers,” Wara Selawattanakula doctor from the provincial health department said.
Mother Phongsri Suksawat, 50, said she was “100%” hopeful that her youngest son, 22-year-old Chirawat Toophorm, would return home.
“I think everything will be fine and nothing bad will happen from the storm,” she said, adding that before boarding, her son asked her to take care of his wife.
“I want to hug him.”
electrical fault
According to the navy, the ship – an corvette, the smallest military warship – is believed to have crashed after its avionics failed.
Many areas in southern Thailand have been affected by storms and floods in recent days.
A warning from the Thai meteorological office remained in place on Tuesday, with strong winds causing severe conditions in the Gulf of Thailand. Seafarers are warned to be careful, and small boats are advised to stay ashore.
According to the United States Naval Institute, HTMS Sukhothai was commissioned in 1987 and built in the United States by the now-defunct Tacoma Shipbuilding Company.


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