Thai navy searching for 33 marines after warship capsizes

Thailand’s military is searching for 33 marines who went missing after a corvette sank overnight in choppy waters in the Gulf of Thailand, the navy said. Warships and helicopters have been deployed for the operation. 

The HTMS Sukhothai warship went down just before midnight after suffering an engine malfunction. Three navy vessels and two helicopters are searching for the missing marines off the Prachuap Khiri Khan province, south of Bangkok. There were a total of 106 people on board, of which 73 were rescued following an overnight rescue mission in bad weather. The remaining 33 had to abandon the vessel.

A group of personnel in orange vests in a black inflatable raft can be seen moving away from the ship in images and video footage posted on the navy’s Twitter account. It was not immediately clear how many rafts had been deployed.

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The Sukhothai is a US-built corvette that has been in use since 1987. Strong waves hit it on Sunday and it tilted to one side as a consequence. It flooded with seawater, navy spokesperson Admiral Pogkrong Monthardpalin said.

A Navy picture showed the vessel flipped over onto its side, while another image on a scanner screen showed the bow of the ship and a gun turret poking out above the waterline as it went down.

(With inputs from agencies)

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