HTML Sukhothai It sank in rough weather early Mondayresulting in the loss of dozens of its crew in the stormy seas in the Gulf of Thailand.
In an update on Sunday, the Royal Thai Navy said 11 officers were still missing. Of the 105 on board the ship at the time of the disaster, 76 have been rescued.
The ship was carrying 30 more people than usual at the time of its sinking, and there weren’t enough lifejackets for all of them, the Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Navy. adm. Cherngchai Chomcherngpat said Tuesday.
Tshirngchai said the extra officers were on board because the ship was taking part in a tribute to the founder of the Thai Navy. The crew was well aware of the problem of not having enough life jackets for 30 additional officers. They tried other tools that could save the lives of officers who don’t have life jackets.”
Some of those without life jackets attempted to escape on inflatable rafts, some of which were stowed aboard HTMS Sukhothai and some were dropped by rescue helicopters and other vessels.
“With or without a lifejacket, it doesn’t affect the odds of survival,” said the admiral.
He said the ship sank after entering sea water and disrupting its power systems.
The waves were 3 to 4 meters (10 ft to 13 ft) at the time and the water temperature was around 29 °C (84 °F).
Cherngchai said water entered the forward part of the 252-foot (76.8-meter) warship around 8:45 p.m. Sunday.
The flood lasted more than three hours, eventually disabling the ship’s engine and electrical systems and undermining efforts to pump it out.
Helicopter rescue teams attempted to lower water pumps onto the ship, but efforts were thwarted when the ship began to tilt sharply.
The admiral dismissed a suggestion that the 40-year-old ship might not have been in shape to handle the high seas, saying it has been upgraded several times in recent years.
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