Thursday, April 27, 2006

The HTMS Pangan's history

The HTMS Pangan was a Royal Thai Navy Transport, built in Japan in 1927, about 60m long & 10m wide, 1874 tons empty & 2442 tons full, with 2 diesel engines and 3 guns (60, 40 & 20mm).

She sank the 19th of July 1961, at 10pm, off the coast of Surathani. Her entire crew (81 souls) was saved six hours later by a Japanese freighter. Why she sank however is not too clear. She'd left Bangkok earlier that week carrying 'damaged' ammunition & gunpowder to be dumped at sea.

Officially she went out of control and the crew abandoned ship when her main engine broke down after battling heavy seas for several hours. Supposedly a large wave had hit the ship, some of the cargo broke loose and rolled to one side, making her list heavily and take more waves. Totally swamped the pumps & engines failed. Rough seas would have been very unusual at that time of the year and the cargo might not have been as properly strapped down as it should have. More probable however, from the damage on the wreck, a fire broke out and she went down ablaze...

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