Sunken HTMS Sukhothai to be raised in one US$3-million piece

Ship expected to rule the waves once more

Raising the sunken HTMS Sukhothai is going to cost about 100 million baht (US$3 million).

HTMS Sukhothai sank in 50 metres of water, 19 nautical miles off the coast of Prachuap Khiri Khan on the night of December 18 last year. Only 76 of the 105 crew on board at the time survived.

Admiral Adung Phan-iam, commander of the Royal Thai Fleet is preparing to select a salvage company for the warship’s retrieval.

The expenses involved in raising the wreck have been justified on the basis that the Sukhothai may be – at a depth of 50 metres – a navigational hazard. The ship still contains a small amount of fuel oil that may be considered an environmental hazard, and the navy clearly harbours aspirations that the Sukhothai may be completely re-floated and return to duty.

So far, 12 tenders have met the navy specifications. The sunken HTMS Sukhothai, Adung claims, must remain intact after retrieval without being disassembled in any way. Retrieving the warship in this is substantially more expensive than merely pumping out the offending oil, so it is safe to assume that the Royal Thai Navy expects HTMS Sukhothai to rejoin the fleet.

Most bidders are confident they can recover the entire vessel in one piece but work will be expensive, and will take a very long time to complete.

Environment News

Jon Whitman

Jon Whitman is a seasoned journalist and author who has been living and working in Asia for more than two decades. Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Jon has been at the forefront of some of the most important stories coming out of China in the past decade. After a long and successful career in East sia, Jon is now semi-retired and living in the Outer Hebrides. He continues to write and is an avid traveller and photographer, documenting his experiences across the world.

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