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News Forum - Navy ship sinks in the Gulf of Thailand, 84 rescued, 1 dead, 21 missing


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UPDATE In total, 84 members of the Royal Thai Navy have been rescued from the Gulf of Thailand after the HTMS Sukhothai navy vessel sank to the bottom of the sea last night amid rough conditions. One body has been recovered and 21 crew members are still missing. As of noon today, the navy had rescued 75 crew members from the sea, and 31 were still missing. At 12.40pm, oil tanker PATARAVARIN 88 reported rescuing nine exhausted people from the sea and recovering one body. The PATARAVARIN 88 has not yet been able to return to shore due to rough […]

The story Navy ship sinks in the Gulf of Thailand, 84 rescued, 1 dead, 21 missing as seen on Thaiger News.

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It will be interesting to see how this investigation develops. It seems engine failure was the cause of the initial problems? I know the gulf of Thailand can get rough, but it’s hardly Cape Horn. 

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13 minutes ago, Soidog said:

It will be interesting to see how this investigation develops. It seems engine failure was the cause of the initial problems? I know the gulf of Thailand can get rough, but it’s hardly Cape Horn. 

According to a report in the guardian.A pipe? was left open and water got in and knocked out all the systems.Water getting in,pumps not functioning,listing then sunk.reportes might change that.

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3 minutes ago, yselmike said:

According to a report in the guardian.A pipe? was left open and water got in and knocked out all the systems.Water getting in,pumps not functioning,listing then sunk.reportes might change that.

It seems that a major mistake could be the root cause. Extremely Unusual for a ship of this size operating in what looks like rough waves would result in this catastrophe.  Let’s hope the missing crew are found alive and well.  

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52 minutes ago, Soidog said:

It will be interesting to see how this investigation develops. It seems engine failure was the cause of the initial problems? I know the gulf of Thailand can get rough, but it’s hardly Cape Horn. 

Could be a large loss of life if the missing sailors were below decks or had no safety gear when abandoning ship.  

As to the cause it could be down to something as simple as a failed (corroded) exhaust outlet causing one engine to be shut down to stop water filling the bilge and the imbalance (or angle of heel) causing fresh seawater to flood the aft compartments.  I've had that happen to me when 30nm offshore though I was in deep ocean with a heavy swell, very little wind.  Seas in the relatively shallow Gulf can stand up and be just as dangerous as Cape Horn.

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1 minute ago, KaptainRob said:

Could be a large loss of life if the missing sailors were below decks or had no safety gear when abandoning ship.  

As to the cause it could be down to something as simple as a failed (corroded) exhaust outlet causing one engine to be shut down to stop water filling the bilge and the imbalance (or angle of heel) causing fresh seawater to flood the aft compartments.  I've had that happen to me when 30nm offshore though I was in deep ocean with a heavy swell, very little wind.  Seas in the relatively shallow Gulf can stand up and be just as dangerous as Cape Horn.

Interesting stuff KR. Looking at the video thats been released of the rescue, the sea doesn’t look to rough. This could have been a few hours after the events which caused this tragic event. 

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50 minutes ago, Soidog said:

Interesting stuff KR. Looking at the video thats been released of the rescue, the sea doesn’t look to rough. This could have been a few hours after the events which caused this tragic event. 

Video never shows the true nature of swell, wave and wind action.  I've taken stills and video among some of the worst seas and it always looks quite tame.

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Right, hope missing crew can be located/recovered. 

Been scratching my head a bit on this one past few hours.  I'm not sure where the exhaust discharges are but RTN maintains, for now, that sea water back flowed through the exhaust discharge taking out one engine first, then the electrics, and then the second engine, so these guys went DIW in snotty weather.  There's hardware protection in place if the exhaust discharge is at or near waterline, in particular if the engines themselves are lower than waterline.   This vessel's been operating for 30-odd years already, so there's got to be another wrinkle here.  Maybe a marine diesel or gas turbine guy can add some insight.

There's a video on Reddit purporting to be from this event, not sure if I can post the link here.   Sounds like a pack of greenhorns on the bridge, Oooo'ing and Ahhhh'ing in amazement as they take waves and green water over the bow stuffing it into the next trough(s). 

Vid then cuts to it listing badly to Port around sunset/dusk.  I did notice two puffs of what looks like exhaust when the camera is looking Aft, suggesting exhaust discharge is higher than main deck level.  Or it could have been a generator at that point.

Be interesting to know state of material condition on board - in particular doors, hatches and scuttles for water tight integrity and in this case, ability to compartmentalize and halt progressive flooding between spaces.  Just feels to me like this thing was fairly advanced by the time they figured out they had a problem.  Where the heck was the Engineering watch.  Hopefully not up on the bridge rubbernecking with the others.

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7 minutes ago, TWS60 said:

Been scratching my head a bit on this one past few hours.  I'm not sure where the exhaust discharges are but RTN maintains, for now, that sea water back flowed through the exhaust discharge taking out one engine first, then the electrics, and then the second engine, so these guys went DIW in snotty weather.  There's hardware protection in place if the exhaust discharge is at or near waterline, in particular if the engines themselves are lower than waterline.   This vessel's been operating for 30-odd years already, so there's got to be another wrinkle here.  Maybe a marine diesel or gas turbine guy can add some insight.

Like most large ships of it's type I would imagine the main engine exhaust gases were vented thru a stack while the block and manifold cooling water (exhaust) was expelled at or above waterline toward the stern.  Generator wet exhausts may have been plumbed into those.

Salt water, heat, exhaust gas and old age plays havoc with steel exhaust systems, especially at the welds.

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2 hours ago, Soidog said:

It will be interesting to see how this investigation develops. It seems engine failure was the cause of the initial problems? I know the gulf of Thailand can get rough, but it’s hardly Cape Horn. 

There hasn't been a 'storm' in the Gulf for many weeks.   Ships, especially Navy ships,  don't just sink in rough water, unless incompetency of some nature is involved, be that technical, ship management,  or seamanship.

Or is  that 'seapersonship' in these post Millennium/ Generation Z times.  

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