Dozens are feared dead after a warship carrying more than 100 sailors capsized and sank during a storm in the Gulf of Thailand. The Thai Navy said on Monday they had rescued 75 crew but 31 sailors are still missing. Sources also confirmed that 11 personnel from the warship were being treated at Bang Saphan Hospital in Prachuap Province.
Rescue teams have been working through the night to try and find survivors and the operation was still on going on Monday.
A Thai Navy spokesperson told the BBC: “It’s been more than 12 hours but we will keep looking.’
The HTMAS Sukhotai sank after water flooded its power controls on Sunday night.
Officials said water flooded the ship’s hull and short-circuited its power room.
Deprived of power, the crew battled to control the ship which listed on its side and went down around 23:30 local time Sunday (16:30 GMT).
The ship had been on a patrol just 32km (20 miles) west of Bang Saphan, in the Prachuap Khiri Khan province, when it got caught in the storm on Sunday.
The Thai Navy sent three ships and helicopters to the scene as soon as it received distress calls from the HTMAS Sukhotai.
However, only the HTMAS Kraburi frigate managed to get to the warship before it sank.
The frigate was able to pick up the majority of the sailors on board the stricken warship, according to Thai Navy officials.
The Thai Navy posted photos of the rescue to its Twitter account, which showed the Sukhotai listing on its starboard side and the rescue ships trying to find survivors in the stormy waters.
Another dramatic image showed a life raft full of sailors wearing their life jackets at the moment they were picked up by rescuers.
Navy officials have announced an investigation into the cause of the accident.
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The HTMS Sukhothai is a Ratanakosin-class corvette ship and had been in use since 1987.
Two such ships were built for the Thai Navy in America. A third was planned but later scrapped.
The Ratanakosin class is used as flagships for squadrons of fast attack craft.