A Royal Thai Navy warship, carrying over 100 crew, capsized and sank during a storm in the Gulf of Thailand.
Of the 106 crew onboard HTMS Sukhothai, 75 sailors have been rescued today, while 31 sailors are still missing in the rough sea, reported Bangkok Post.
Of the 31 sailors, three are said to be in critical condition.
“We will keep looking,” a navy spokesman told the BBC.
Search operations have been carried out through the night on 18 December 2022 to find survivors. The operation is continuing today with assistance from the air force.
The navy also announced a probe into the reason for the disaster.
Royal Thai Navy spokesman Admiral Pogkrong Monthardpalin told the BBC: “This has almost never happened in our force’s history, especially to a ship that is still in active use.”
According to one of the sailors who was rescued said in a clip shared on local media: “The waves were quite high, about three metres when the ship sank. I put on the life jacket and jumped. I swam for three hours.”
The water flooded the ship’s hull and short circuited its power room.
Following the loss of power, the sailors onboard struggled to retain control of the vessel, which listed on to its side prior to sinking at around 23:30 local time on 18 December.
The vessel was deployed for patrolling 32km (20 miles) east of Bang Saphan, in the Prachuap Khiri Khan province, when it was caught in the storm.
Three naval ships and helicopters were deployed for assistance. HTMS Kraburi was the first the vessel to reach the sinking ship.
The 960-tonne HTMS Sukhothai was built in the US and enlisted into the Thai Navy in 1987, reported CNN.