Bow Rupture Suspected Cause in Thai Warship Sinking

U.S., Thai divers commence salvage of the Royal Thai Navy corvette HTMS Sukhothai in the Gulf of Thailand.
  • Bureau
  • 12:38 PM, February 22, 2024
  • 1190
Bow Rupture Suspected Cause in Thai Warship Sinking
A diver inspects the sunken HMS Sukhothai. Thai Navy file photo

 A rupture in the bow of the Royal Thai Navy corvette HTMS Sukhothai, is suspected to have caused the warship to sink in the Gulf of Thailand on December 18, 2022 killing 24 seamen while 76 were rescued.

Some 35 Thai Navy divers together with 14 American naval divers commenced diving on Thursday to salvage the ship which they expect to accomplish over the course of a 19 day period.

Early photographs sent by the divers revealed a bow rupture, Thai Navy chief, Admiral Adung Phan said adding that more information is needed from the diving mission to support the conclusion as to what caused the sinking.

Divers on Thursday would retrieve the nameplate of HTMS Sukhothai and over the next five days would be photographing the whole ship and looking for missing personnel, Bangkok Post said quoting the Admiral.

The corvette, which sank in an area called the Prachuap Khiri Khan after encountering a storm was resting upright in the relatively shallow waters of the gulf.

The Navy has a 200-million baht budget for the salvage operation but the U.S. has said it would do it for 110 million.

The Thai Navy had earlier contracted a Chinese salvage company to recover the ship but had canceled the deal after strong warning from the U.S. against the involvement of a Chinese entity on a ship which was built in the U.S and subject end-use monitoring as it was sold under the Foreign Military Sales Program.

Bow Rupture Suspected Cause in Thai Warship Sinking
HTMS Sukhothai minutes before sinking
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