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Bangkok Post
Bangkok Post

Drowned man in navy shirt not from HTMS Sukhothai

A rescue worker prepares to remove the body found on the shore of Sathing Phra district, Songkhla, early Monday morning. (Photo: Assain Pakkawan)

SONGKHLA: A dead man washed up on a Songhkla beach wearing a shirt with "Royal Thai Navy" printed on it was a drowned fisherman, not a missing member of HTMS Sukhothai's crew.

The body was found on the shore near a village in Sathing Phra district early on Monday.

The Thailand Maritime Enforcement Command Centre Region 2 later confirmed the dead man's identity.

The body had been taken to Sathing Phra Hospital , where it was examined by Thai-MECC officers and later identified by relatives as Saroj Mindo, 61, a resident of tambon Bo Yang in Muang district, Songkhla.

Relatives said Saroj worked on the fishing boat Sap Sunan, which went down in a storm about 30 nautical miles off Songkhla on Dec 18, the same day HTMS Sukhothai sank in a storm off Prachuap Khiri Khan province.

On Dec 21, the navy patrol boat Tor 992 found four crewmen from the fishing boat floating in the sea tethered together by rope. One of them was rescued alive, a Cambodian national. The others were already dead. One member of the  crew was still missing. He has now been found dead. 

The body was found about 3.20am by residents of Ban Don Khet, the Moo 4 village in tambon Sanam Chai, Pol Lt Col Krachang Kaewfai, an investigator at Chumpol police station, said.

The body was that of a man wearing a blue long-sleeve shirt with the words "ROYAL THAI NAVY" printed on it and blue underwear, with tattoos on his right arm and back. 

Police said earlier that the dead man's shirt was navy issue, but it was not known if he was a missing member of the crew of the ill-fated HTMS Sukhothai. 

Of the 105 sailors and marines on board the Sukhothai, 76 were rescued alive and 18 others have been found dead. Eleven were still missing. The search was continuing.

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