Final search fails to find missing sailors

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Helicopter crews and divers took a final shot at finding four crewmen of a containership that sank near the mouth of the Chao Phraya River, but failed to find their bodies.

Chief Engineer Tharadol Pangwised, Executive Officer Navin Suphanpayak, Pilot Kukan Wangsuk, and Oiler Sompol Chaokaew disappeared when the Phataramarine 5, a 1,000-gross-ton, 71-meter-long container vessel went down in heavy seas Sept. 20 in the wake of tropical depression Vamco about seven nautical miles off shore between Samut Prakan and Chonburi.

Helicopter crews and divers took a final shot at finding four crewmen of a containership that sank near the mouth of the Chao Phraya River, but failed to find their bodies.Helicopter crews and divers took a final shot at finding four crewmen of a containership that sank near the mouth of the Chao Phraya River, but failed to find their bodies.

The ship, carrying canned food and consumer products, left Samut Prakan for Malaysia when it sank, spilling large and small shipping containers into the sea.

Two crewmembers, including Captain Pathom Napasako, were rescued.

The Naval Air Section 1st Area Command searched for a week for the missing crewmen, making a last-ditch effort Sept. 26 with two Seahawk helicopters working with Patrol Boat Tor 18. The search was unsuccessful.

At the same time, 15 deep wreck-penetration divers from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal and the 1st Naval Command Area, totaling 15 divers, searched the hull of the sunken ship, suspecting the men went down with their vessel.

Again, the search was unsuccessful.

The navy ended the search Sept. 27 and salvage operations were expected to begin shortly after.