South Korea is searching for nine missing fishermen, possibly including two Vietnamese, after their boat capsized off the nation’s southwest coast.
The Mokpo Coast Guard received a report at 11:19 p.m. local time on Saturday that a 24-ton fishing boat had overturned 16.6 kilometers west of Daebichido, an inhabited island in Sinan, a county in South Jeolla Province, the Korea Herald reported Sunday.
The coast guards saved two Koreans and one Indonesian, but nine others, who are seven Koreans and two Vietnamese, remain missing, the report said.
South Korea’s Ministry of the Interior and Safety said seven of the missing were South Korean nationals and the two others were foreigners, but it didn’t immediately confirm their nationalities, according to a Sunday report by AP.
The Korea Joongang Daily reported Monday that one of the missing crew members of the capsized boat was found dead inside the boat’s cabin. He is Korean and was the ship’s chief engineer.
On Sunday, Korea Joongang Daily quoted a surviving crew member as he told officials that the ship had a slight portside list when it set sail for Chuja-do, a minor archipelago halfway between South Jeolla and Jeju Island.
This survivor said that one of the Vietnamese crew members alerted the ship’s engineer that the engine room had flooded, three hours into the journey.
The Coast Guard will continue their attempts to tow the boat on Monday after the process has been repeatedly interrupted by strong waves.
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