21 May 2024

Three more bodies, believed to be crew from HTMS Sukhothai, were recovered from the sea on Sunday, the seventh day of the extensive search operations, both on the sea’s surface and underwater, Royal Thai Navy (RTN) Spokesman Admiral Pokkrong Monthatphalin said this evening (Sunday).

He said that the recovery of the bodies today leaves 11 crew still unaccounted for, adding that all the remains will be sent for DNA identification, which will take up to 4 days.

One body was identified today as Seaman Worapong Boonlakorn, attached to the coastal anti-aircraft command. His remains will be flown from the 6th Air Wing at Don Mueang airport to U-Tapao airbase in Chon Buri Province on Monday for a proper funeral, said Admiral Pokkrong.

The RTN’s Commander-in-Chief, Admiral Choengchai Chomchoengpaet, is scheduled to preside over the Royally-sponsored cremation of three naval officers at Sattahip naval base in Chon Buri.

In Kap Choeng district of Surin Province, Rear Admiral Samoraphum Chantho, deputy commander of the Marine Corps, presided over the Royally-sponsored cremation of Chief Petty Officer First Class Somkiat Maichob at Rao Nakhon Temple.

HTMS Sukhothai had a compliment of 105 crew on board on December 18th, when it foundered at sea off Bang Saphan district of Prachuap Khiri Khan. 76 have been rescued, 18 have been found dead and their remains have been recovered and, so far, seven of those have been identified. 11 are still missing.