Five missing Navy crew members have still not been found following the sinking of the HTMS Sukhothai, as the Royal Thai Navy completes its search of the Chumphon area. The search operation is now entering day 19 and will move further south.
Navy spokesman Pokkrong Monthatpalin says search teams have been deployed underwater, on the surface, and on land and will now move further south, in a bid to find the five missing crewmen. The search operation will now focus on the islets and islands around Surat Thani.
Cremations for another 2 dead crewmen were held yesterday at Wat Sri Wano Padsathit, in the Klang district of Rayong. One of the dead men has been named as 35 year old Kunakorn Jariyos, known as Mor Champ, who was the ship’s nurse.
It’s understood he kept 3 other sailors alive by helping them stay afloat in the water with the assistance of two lifejackets, until the men were picked up by HTMS Kraburi. The Bangkok Post reports that after the men were rescued, Kunakorn asked for the lifejackets back, saying he would help find more missing sailors. He was not seen alive again and has been praised as a hero by the Royal Thai Navy.
There were 105 people on board HTMS Sukhothai when it sank in rough seas off the coast of Prachuap Khiri Khan on the night of December 18. Of the 105 crew on board, 76 were rescued, the bodies of 24 others were recovered, and 5 remain missing. The ill-fated vessel now lies about 40 metres below the surface, on the seabed, off the district of Bang Saphan.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post