13 dead after S. Korean fishing boat collides with tanker

The capsized Seonchang-1 fishing boat being lifted out of the water during a salvage operation in the sea off Incheon, South Korea, yesterday. It collided with a 336-tonne fuel tanker yesterday morning.
The capsized Seonchang-1 fishing boat being lifted out of the water during a salvage operation in the sea off Incheon, South Korea, yesterday. It collided with a 336-tonne fuel tanker yesterday morning.PHOTO: REUTERS

SEOUL • Thirteen people were killed and two missing after a fishing boat collided with a tanker off South Korea's west coast and capsized, the country's coast guard said.

The Seonchang-1 fishing boat was carrying 20 passengers on a fishing tour as well as two sailors when it collided with the 336-tonne fuel tanker at around 6am yesterday at sea near the port city of Incheon.

Thirteen people were found dead or died after being taken to hospitals. Seven others were being treated at hospitals while two - including the boat's captain - remained missing, according to the coast guard. No casualties or injuries were reported among those on board the tanker.

TV footage showed the fishing boat sinking beneath churning waves while rescue divers searched around the deck, part of which was still visible above the water.

All the passengers were wearing life jackets but many appeared to have suffered hypothermia, Seoul's Yonhap news agency said.

Deadly accidents involving fishing tour boats often make headlines in the South.

Yesterday's accident was the worst since September 2015, when 15 died after a fishing tour boat capsized near the southern resort island of Jeju.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 04, 2017, with the headline '13 dead after S. Korean fishing boat collides with tanker'. Print Edition | Subscribe