The Naval Supply Department has insisted that there were 130 life jackets on board HTMS Sukhothai for the 105 crew members when it sank off Prachuap Khiri Khan province on December 18th, said Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Navy, Admiral Choengchai Chomchoengpaet today (Saturday).
He said an investigation team is in the process of determining why some of the men had claimed that they did not have life jackets, adding that the Royal Thai Navy will be able settle this controversial issue with the public.
Regarding the cause of the sinking of the vessel, he said initial findings show that the ship took on water and listed heavily because the water could not be pumped out fast enough.
The admiral said, however, that other factors, such as testimonies from the surviving crew, had to be taken into consideration to determine the exact cause of the ship’s loss.
The cost of salvaging the ship has been estimated at about 200 million baht.
76 of the crew were rescued, 24 were confirmed dead when their bodies were found and five remain missing.