Search continues for eight missing after South Korea boat capsized

A handout picture released by Ministry of Public Safety and Security (NEWSIS) shows members of South Korean rescue team are searching to rescue after fishing boat Dolphin capsized near Chuja island on Sept 6, 2015.
A handout picture released by Ministry of Public Safety and Security (NEWSIS) shows members of South Korean rescue team are searching to rescue after fishing boat Dolphin capsized near Chuja island on Sept 6, 2015. PHOTO: EPA
 A capsized boat called Dolgorae, or Dolphin is seen at the sea off the southern island of Jeju, South Korea on Sept 6, 2015.
A capsized boat called Dolgorae, or Dolphin is seen at the sea off the southern island of Jeju, South Korea on Sept 6, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS
South Korean Coast Guard personnel carry the body of a passenger who was onboard a boat called Dolgorae, or Dolphin, which capsized at the sea off the southern island of Jeju in Heanam, South Korea on Sept 6, 2015.
South Korean Coast Guard personnel carry the body of a passenger who was onboard a boat called Dolgorae, or Dolphin, which capsized at the sea off the southern island of Jeju in Heanam, South Korea on Sept 6, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

SEOUL (AFP) - South Korean coastguard and navy vessels, backed by rescue aircraft, were still searching on Monday (Sept 7) for eight people missing after a fishing charter boat capsized, leaving 10 passengers dead.

The 9.77-tonne Dolphine, believed to have been carrying 21 passengers, capsized near the south-western island of Chuja on Saturday night.

Three were rescued by fishermen after holding on to a floating piece of the boat for more than 10 hours. Ten bodies including the captain's were found on Sunday.

More than 70 coastguard, navy and civilian fishing vessels, supported by helicopters and search aircraft, combed the area around the island on Monday.

Many passengers were not wearing life vests when the boat capsized, local media quoted survivors as saying.

A lack of safety measures and inaccurate passenger records prevalent among ship operators were heavily criticised after the Sewol ferry disaster that killed about 300 people in 2014.

Officials had vowed to overhaul public safety and toughen penalties for violations. But critics say little has been done.

"Nothing has changed even after the Sewol," ran the front-page headline of the Dong-A newspaper.

It accused the coastguard of a slow and insufficient response and criticised the "lack of safety concerns" that led the boat to sail despite bad weather.

"How many deaths do we need to make the government and people set things right?" the newspaper said in an editorial.