Death toll from Thai warship sinking now at 18

The Royal Thai Navy corvette HTMS Sukhothai lists heavily before finally sinking in the Gulf of Thailand, December 18, 2022. (Photo: Royal Thai Navy)
The Royal Thai Navy corvette HTMS Sukhothai lists heavily before finally sinking in the Gulf of Thailand, December 18, 2022. (Photo: Royal Thai Navy)

Officials of the Royal Thai Navy have confirmed the recovery of additional bodies following the sinking of one of its ships in bad weather earlier this month, raising the incident's death toll to 18.

On Sunday, December 25, officials said the ongoing search and recovery effort following the loss of the Ratanakosin-class corvette HTMS Sukhothai led to the discovery of the remains of 12 crewmen besides the six initially found within 72 hours of the incident.

Sukthothai was underway in the Gulf of Thailand some 32 kilometres off Prachuap Khiri Khan province when it encountered rough sea conditions in the late evening (local time) of December 18. The ship listed heavily, capsized, and then sank to a depth of 40 metres.

Another 11 personnel are still missing, officials added.

At the time of the incident, Sukhothai had 105 people on board. This number included 30 additional personnel besides the vessel's normal crew complement.

Rescue teams have so far safely evacuated 76 survivors including one sailor initially reported as missing. This last individual was found adrift in the water two days after the sinking.

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