Royal Thailand Navy warship capsizes, as rescue mission underway to search for missing crew members

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An estimated 101 sailors were aboard the HTMS Sukhothai during the sinking, with 31 people still missing in the water.

A rescue operation in the Bangsaphan district in Prachuap Khiri Khan, Thailand is underway after a Royal Thailand Navy warship capsized only 20 miles from port. The capsizing of the vessel, the HTMS Sukhothai, has been blamed on poor weather conditions, as strong winds blew seawater into the vessel and knocked out its power system.

HTMS Sukhothai alerted land crews to the electrical problem when it first became apparent there was an issue with the warship, however strong winds meant the three frigates and two helicopters sent to assist pumping water from the boat had difficulty making it to the capsized vessel.

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Moments later, as more seawater managed to enter into the HTMS Sukhothai, the vessel began to sink. 75 of the sailors on board had managed to be rescued, the Royal Thailand Navy reports, but there are still 31 still missing in the water. 11 of those rescued during the operation were immediately admitted to hospital.

There was said to be an estimated 101 people on the HTMS Sukhothai, which saw its first voyage back in 1987 after being built in and transported from the United States. The vessel takes its name from the first king of the Kingdom of Sukhothai, capital city of Sukhothai in present-day north-central Thailand.

The extreme weather conditions have been a problem in Thailand for the last number of weeks, with parts of the country experiencing their coldest temperatures in 2022. Earlier this month, the Thai government issued a warning to those with boats in the southern part of the country to keep their ships ashore, due to frequent storms and flooding rocking the area.

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