Time is running out to find missing sailors

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After hours of searching at sea, some survivors of the sinking warship were discovered.

On the second day of their search for 29 sailors missing following the sinking of the Thai warship, rescuers are combing Thailand’s Gulf of Thailand.

After losing power during a storm, the HTMAS Sukhothai with 105 crew sank offshore of the south-east coast Sunday night.

So far, 76 people have been saved by search teams. One man was found Tuesday night after spending two nights in rough seas.

Close to a third still remains missing. The navy has yet to disclose if any of the crew members died.

On Tuesday, the Thai navy and air force resumed their search with hundreds of officers aboard four navy ships and several helicopters scanning a large 50-square-kilometre (30 mile) area.

A Thai naval commander had suggested earlier that search teams had only two days to find anyone alive in ocean waters.

Vice Admiral Pichai Lochusakul stated that a life jacket, life buoy and their floating technology allow us to save their lives within 48 hours.

“Therefore, [Tuesday] This will be the main event. He said that we will do everything possible to save them.”

Many sailors were found unconscious and exhausted.

“We found this man holding a buoy… he was floating on the water for 10hrs,” Captain Krapich Koawee-Paparwit from the HTMS Kraburi said to Reuters.

He said that the man was still conscious and had a minor head injury.

Others were also found in a liferaft after jumping from the sinking vessel. The navy shared footage and photos on Twitter that showed survivors being wrapped in blankets and taken to the hospital.

The HTMS Sukhothai is a 76-m-long corvette that was on day two of a routine patrol east of south-eastern Thailand when it was caught in a storm Sunday night.

According to the Thai navy, water had flooded its hull, then the electricity room and cut off power.

Dramatic images posted on the navy’s twitter account show the vessel listing to starboard side. The vessel was then submerged at around 11:30pm Sunday (04.30 GMT).

Other naval vessels were immediately alerted, and sent to assist. However, only the HTMS Kraburi frate reached the vessel just before it sank at 32km east Bang Saphan in Prachuap Khan province.

According to the Thai navy, this was its first loss of a ship under such circumstances and they will launch an investigation.

Naval experts question how such a disaster could have happened to a ship that was on routine parole.

David Letts, a naval law expert and associate professor at The Australian National University, said “It’s really uncommon.”

He observed that ships would have watertight entrances for different compartments to keep flooding out of central units like the engine rooms.

Because the disaster occurred at night, it is likely that many sailors were asleep at the time. Additionally, protocols like the release of liferafts might have been disrupted by the chaos.

It is unknown what caused the ship’s flood and why the sailors had to jump in the water.

The US Naval Institute stated that the warship had been built in the United States in 1987 by a local shipbuilding business.

Area where the ship capsized

Zone where the ship capsized

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