Mon, Sep 07, 2015 - Page 5 News List

S Koreans search for eight missing after boat tragedy

Reuters, SEOUL

South Korean Coast Guard ships yesterday search for people missing from a fishing boat that capsized early in the morning in the waters north of Jeju Island.

Photo: AP / Yonhap

At least 10 people died and about eight were missing after a South Korean fishing boat capsized, a coast guard official and media reports said yesterday.

The boat was found capsized early in the morning, after it lost radio contact late on Saturday, a coast guard official in the southern island of Jeju said by telephone.

The bodies of 10 people were recovered in the waters near the island of Chuja, which lies between the south coast of the mainland and Jeju, the official said.

Three people were pulled from the water and airlifted to hospitals, the coast guard official said, adding they were expected to survive.

“There were six people without life jackets, including the captain, hanging onto the capsized boat,” one of the survivors said in an interview with Yonhap news agency. “One by one, those who lost strength slipped away.”

Another survivor was quoted as saying that about five others failed to escape the boat when it turned over. However, the coast guard official said no one was found trapped in the boat during their search for more survivors.

About 21 people are expected to have been on the boat, a Korea Coast Guard spokesman said during a briefing.

Most of those on board were on a fishing expedition to Chuja, a popular fishing area, a second coast guard official said. Some of them were from an online fishing club based in Busan.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye has called on the rescue and recovery services to do their utmost in the search for the missing, her office said in a statement.

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