Salvage mission retrieves HTMS Sukhothai’s nameplate

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The operation includes detailed surveys of the ship, the removal of its nameplate, and inspections of structural damages.

The joint Thai and US naval operation successfully retrieved the nameplate of the sunken HTMS Sukhothai on its second day (Feb 23) as part of a 19-day effort under the Cobra Gold military exercise. This mission is held with the aim to investigate the cause of the sinking in the Gulf of Thailand on December 19, 2022, which resulted in 24 deaths from the 105 crew members, with 76 rescued and five missing.



The operation includes detailed surveys of the ship, the removal of its nameplate, and inspections of structural damages. The Thai navy’s contribution includes 35 divers, two minesweepers, and a medium-seagoing watercraft, complemented by the US’s Ocean Valor and 14 divers. Initial attempts to retrieve the nameplate were unsuccessful, but the mission continued with the goal of documenting the wreck for investigation and, later, removing hazardous materials and weapons.



Navy Chief Admiral Adung Phan-iam assured that the mission’s findings would provide more clarity on the incident and thanked the US Navy for its assistance. He also highlighted the need for meticulous selection of salvage contractors due to the HTMS Sukhothai’s origins in the US and its advanced weaponry, which are monitored for end-use. (NNT)