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South Korea

13 dead, two missing after fishing boat accident in South Korea

The fishing boat was carrying 20 passengers on a fishing tour as well as two sailors when it crashed with the 336-tonne fuel tanker at sea near the port city of Incheon

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 03 December, 2017, 2:01pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 03 December, 2017, 9:58pm

At least 13 people were dead and two missing on Sunday after a South Korean fishing boat collided with a refuelling vessel and capsized, the coastguard said.

An official from the Korea Coast Guard said seven people were rescued and the two missing included the boat’s captain.

He said 22 people were aboard the 9.8-tonne fishing boat that capsized after colliding with the 336-tonne refuelling vessel in waters off the port city of Incheon.

The refuelling vessel did not suffer damage.

President Moon Jae-in ordered authorities to deploy as many helicopters and other aircraft as possible to search for the missing, according to his office.

The coastguard official said 19 coastguard and naval vessels and five aircraft including helicopters were dispatched to the site. Authorities were questioning the crew of the refuelling vessel to determine the cause of the collision.

South Korea has seen its share of significant maritime accidents in recent years, including the 2014 sinking of a ferry that killed more than 300 people, mostly schoolchildren.

More than 50 fishermen died or went missing months later after their vessel sank in the Bering Sea.