A Royal Thai Navy (RTN) mine sweeper is scheduled to leave port in Samut Prakan Province today (Wednesday), destined for the seas off Bang Saphan district of Prachuap Khiri Khan, to conduct an undersea survey of the sunken HTMS Sukhothai, in preparation for a salvage operation.
Informed naval sources said that Admiral Choengchai Chomchoengpaet, commander-in-chief of the RTN, has ordered the Bang Rachan 631 mine sweeper, equipped with a submersible, to be sent to the site where the HTMS Sukhothai sank. The vessel is due to arrive there tomorrow.
According to the Hydrographic Department, the wind speed at sea, off Bang Saphan district, has reduced from level 3-4 to level 2-3, but it remains to be seen whether the weather conditions will be suitable for the deployment of the submersible.
The information gained from this operation will be used in the planning of a salvage operation, said the sources, adding that the private sector may be asked to take part, because it is better equipped than the RTN for such work.
Meanwhile, His Majesty the King has agreed to take care of the injured and the deceased crew members’ families, while Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn has provided medical supplies to all the surviving crew members of HTMS Sukhothai, according to Admiral Choengchai.