Picture courtesy of Royal Thai Navy

The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) concluded a 19-day-long salvage operation of the sunken HTMS Sukhothai, setting the stage for the creation of a memorial monument. The vessel had sunk within the Gulf of Thailand on December 19, 2022, ensuing within the rescue of 76 out of the 105 individuals on board, whereas 24 people have been discovered lifeless, leaving 5 nonetheless lacking.

The salvage operation was undertaken by the US Navy’s Ocean Valor as half of their Cobra Gold joint navy train, starting on February 22. The operation accomplished on Monday, after an operational time spanning 67 hours and 53 minutes, as reported by Admiral Chartchai Thongsa-art, who led the operation.

The frigate had sunk to a depth of 50 metres, at a distance of roughly 36.9 kilometres or 22 nautical miles from the shore in Bang Saphan district. Luckily, no leakage of chemical compounds or oil was detected in the course of the course of the operation, in line with Admiral Chartchai.

All through the operation, an Operation Centre was established on the Port Workplace, with Ocean Valor, seven RTN ships, and two helicopters concerned. Divers have been divided into two groups, one consisting of 14 divers, with equal illustration from the RTN and US Navy, who used floor provide air gear and had Ocean Valor as their base. The second workforce comprised 40 scuba divers from the RTN, working from HTMS Mannai.

“All divers, after conducting a complete of 82 dives or 67 hours and 53 minutes underwater, have been reported secure,” mentioned Admiral Chartchai.

The operation encompassed 4 key missions – finding the stays of the 5 lacking crew members, investigating the ship’s mechanics, disarming weapons, and retrieving private objects. Whereas 58 items of proof have been efficiently recovered, the stays of the lacking males weren’t discovered in the course of the operation.

The recovered objects have been transferred to the Juk Samet Port of Sattahip Naval Base by the Ocean Valor on Tuesday for additional investigation. It could take not less than a month to retrieve the frigate’s CCTV footage, in line with Admiral Chartchai.

A memorial monument has been deliberate for the Sattahip district of Chon Buri to honour these onboard the frigate throughout its sinking, reported Bangkok Publish.

Robert F Godec, the US ambassador to Thailand, highlighted this operation for instance of the profitable collaboration between the RTN and US Navy.

Thailand Information