A Thai Navy ship capsized and 31 are missing

A Thai Navy ship capsized and 31 are missing

Sunken ship in Thailand. Photo: AFP

The Thai Navy launched this Monday a rescue operation to search for 31 missing people following the capsizing of a force ship off the south-eastern coast of the country.

“We are still looking for 31” of the 106 crew of HTMS Sukhothai, said Admiral Pogkrong Montradpalin, a spokesman for the Royal Thai Navy.

The crew “lost control” of the ship early Monday morning and it sank shortly after midnight by strong tides in the Gulf of Thailand, which caused damage to the ship’s electrical system, it said.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-Cha said the cause of the incident was being investigated.

“I am closely following the news, about five people are seriously injured,” he added in a statement.

Images released by the Navy show the ship completely tilted on one of its sides, half submerged in the water, the AFP news agency published.

Some 75 people were rescued and 11 of them were taken to the hospital in Bang Saphan.

The rescue operation included two military helicopters, two frigates and an amphibious ship, according to a Navy statement.

The Royal Thai Air Force also assisted in the operation, according to a statement.

The US-made Sukhothai HTMS entered service in 1987, according to the US Naval Institute think tank.

Several regions in southern Thailand have been affected by storms and heavy rains in recent days.

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