Huge search operation for dozens of sailors ‘in the water’ after warship rolls over and sinks in rough seas off Thailand
A FRANTIC rescue mission is underway after a warship sank during a powerful storm in the Gulf of Thailand.
The Royal Thai Navy said at least 28 sailors are still « in the water » waiting to be rescued after HTMS Sukhothai sank at 11.30pm on Sunday night.
Officials said Sukhothai was on patrol 20 miles from the port of Bang Saphan when it ran into choppy waters and took on water.
The ship’s electrical system was wiped out, leading to engine failure.
Terrifying footage taken on board shows the vessel drifting on its side while crew members dressed in life jackets desperately holding onto a railing.
The Navy dispatched three ships to help – but only one could reach the scene before the warship sank.
Shocking radar images showed half the 76-metre vessel submerged underwater in a near-vertical position.
The Royal Thai Navy said 78 sailors and crew members have been rescued – but it’s understood 28 are still waiting to be pulled out.
It’s not clear whether the crew members are in the water, or waiting in lifeboats.
Footage showed a group of sailors in red life jackets sitting in a huge black lifeboat waiting to be rescued.
Three crew members are understood to be injured.
No deaths have been confirmed.
Strong winds and the size of the waves have hampered the rescue efforts, the Royal Thai Navy said.
The search for any missing sailors will continue throughout the night, officials said.
Sukhothai, commissioned in 1987 and built in the United States, is one of only seven corvettes in the Royal Thai Navy.