Approvals from the Budget Bureau and the Election Commission are being sought for the disbursement of a 200-million-baht budget earmarked for salvaging the sunken HTMS Sukhothai, according to the navy.
If the agencies greenlight the fund, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, in his capacity as defence minister, will forward it for cabinet approval, said Adm Pokkrong Manthatpalin, the navy spokesman.
Once the fund is ready, a firm will be hired to undertake the operation, which is expected to take about 90 days to complete, he said.
HTMS Sukhothai sank in rough seas -- around 50 metres deep -- about 19 nautical miles off the coast of Prachuap Khiri Khan on the night of Dec 18. Of the 105 crew, 76 were rescued, 24 were found dead and five remain missing.