Adung expressed on the first day of the week that the task of retrieving the sunken warship is gradually moving forward. The deliberate pace is predominant as the Navy aims to execute the recovery with as little damage to the vessel as possible. The objective at the forefront of their minds? Finding the root cause behind the unfortunate sinking of the ship.
The warship of the corvette-class inexplicably found its watery grave amidst a storm. It was approximately 20 nautical miles off the coast of the Bang Saphan district situated in Prachuap Khiri Khan. The ill-fated event happened last year dating to the month of December – a memory that still sends ripples through the naval community. 105 members of the crew had been aboard during the tragic event. Out of the number, a total of 76 managed to escape the clutches of the stormy sea.
“Salvaging a vessel from a depth of 50 metres in the most wholesome state possible is akin to achieving a feat that is challenging in the extreme,” Adung confessed. The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) found itself engrossed in the process of researching the licences of the prospective bidders eager to handle the salvaging operation. This tedious process has caused a considerable delay in the bidding process.
The hopeful bid winner might be revealed next month, Adung added. The successful bidder would then be presented before the Royal Thai Armed Forces for immediate approval, thus, paving the way for the salvaging operation to commence.
“We are forecasting the sunken HTMS to reappear from its seabed tomb around March or April of the forthcoming year,” Adung projected. “The bidding affair is nearing its conclusion; we’re just at the final stage now”. He goes on to further update that the Navy had employed the service of professional scuba divers for this operation. Reports from the divers stated that the HTMS Sukhothai remains largely unaltered with a striking detail – its bow is still aimed at the shrine of Prince of Chumphon, Admiral Prince Abhakara Kiartivongse, located in Chumphon province. This prince is held in high regard as the founding father of the Royal Thai Navy.