2 South Koreans, 1 Chinese killed in sinking of fish-transporting vessel in East Sea
Published : 2013-02-21 21:31
Updated : 2013-02-21 21:31
A fish transportation vessel with 12 crewmembers on board sank Monday in waters between South Korea and Japan, killing three, including two South Koreans, officials said.
The third crewman killed was identified as Chinese, said the South Korean Coast Guard officials.
The 296-ton, Cambodian-registered vessel was on its way from the northern Japanese port of Aomori to South Korea's eastern port of Sokcho when it went down amid high waves around 7 a.m. about 548 km west of the Korean island of Ulleung, they said.
South Korea's Coast Guard responded to the ship's distress call, immediately dispatching four patrol boats and two aircraft to the scene for rescue operations. The Coast Guard also called Japan and Russia for help, officials said.
After a Japanese Coast Guard plane first spotted the crew, two Japanese helicopters rescued all 12 members and transported them to a Japanese air base in Niigata before they were taken to hospital.
Three crew members -- two South Korean and one Chinese -- who were unconscious when rescued later died, officials said. The 12-member crew consisted of three South Koreans and nine Chinese, and all remaining members, except one Chinese, are reportedly in relatively good condition.
South Korea's Coast Guard expressed gratitude to its Japanese and Russian counterparts for helping with the rescue operations, the officials said.
The officials said an investigation is needed to determine the circumstances surrounding the accident. (Yonhap News)