On December 3, thirteen people were reportedly dead and two missing after a fishing vessel and a bunker collided with each other.
The fishing boat ‘Seonchang-1’ reportedly collided with a bunker ‘Myeongjin-15’ in the waters off Incheon. After the collision occurred, thirteen people out of twenty two people onboard the vessel were declared dead while two people were reported to be missing.
The vessels were in the waters south of the Yeongheung Bridge which connects Yeongheung Island to Seonjae Island southwest of Incheon when they crashed. During the collision, the fishing boat was heavily damaged and started drifting bottom up in the sea.
Authorities were questioning the crew of the bunker tanker vessel to determine the cause of the collision. The maritime police suspected the two vessels collided while trying to pass each other on the narrow waterway between the piers of Yeongheung Bridge.
Search and Rescue initiated:
The authorities initiated a SAR mission to rescue the casualties who were trapped inside the cabin. Four crew members who were thrown into the Sea were rescued by the bunker crew members and three were rescued in an air pocket inside the overturned boat after one and a half hours by specially trained divers. The crew members have all been hospitalized for further treatment.
Nineteen vessels of the South Korean Coastguard and Navy, among them the frigate “Chungbuk” and Navy divers, as well as five aircraft including helicopters were dispatched to the site. President Moon Jae-in ordered the marine police, Navy and fishing boats nearby to do all they could to rescue the people. On the whole 39 vessels and eight aircraft were dispatched to search for the two missing.
The authorities have initiated an investigation and have started questioning the crew members of the bunker involved during collision. The maritime police suspect that the two vessels collided while trying to pass each other on the narrow waterway between the piers of Yeongheung Bridge.
The bunker was not damaged during the collision and has been detained for further investigation.
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Source: The Korea Times