23 May 2024

The Thai Ministry of Defence has announced that the remaining five missing crew members of HTMS Sukhothai, which sank in stormy seas off Bang Saphan district of Prachuap Khiri Khan province on December 18th, are now officially presumed to have died while they were on duty.

The five are Chief Petty Officer (first class) Jirawat Charoensilp, Petty Officer (second class) Sophon Wongsanit, Seaman Abdul Aziz Ma-ae, Seaman Chaichana Changvad and Seaman Thaweesak Sae Khaeo.

The announcement was signed by General Sittiporn Musikasin, the deputy permanent secretary of defence.

Spokesman for the Royal Thai Navy (RTN), Admiral Pokkrong Monthatphalin, said that the RTN have informed the Defence Ministry that the five crew members were listed as missing.

There were 105 crew on board the ill-fated ship before it sank. 76 were rescued.

A massive sea, air and land search, involving naval vessels, fishing trawlers, private volunteers and divers, was launched the following day to look for the missing crew. 24 were found dead, but five remain unaccounted for.