BANGKOK: After a corvette capsized overnight in turbulent waters in the Gulf of Thailand, the Thai navy sent out warships and helicopters on Monday to search for 33 missing marines.
Three naval warships and two helicopters were sent to the region of Prachuap Khiri Khan, south of Bangkok, after the HTMS Sukhothai cruiser encountered an engine trouble and went down just before midnight, around 20 nautical miles off the shore.
The Thai navy reported that 73 of the 106 persons on board were saved after an overnight rescue mission in heavy weather, with the remaining 33 being forced to abandon ship.
A number of people wearing orange vests were seen leaving a ship in the dark as waves grew around it, as seen in pictures and video the navy released on its Twitter account.
The number of deployed rafts needed to be made apparent.
As per naval spokesman Admiral Pogkrong Monthardpalin, the Sukhothai, a US-built corvette in service since 1987, was hit by powerful waves on Sunday, causing it to lean to one side and fill with water.
The navy released a photo of the grey ship on its side, and another image from a scanner showed the ship’s bow and a gun turret sticking out of the water as it sank.