Death toll rises to 14 in ferry sinking

One found dead after rescue attempt near Jeju

One found dead after rescue attempt near Jeju

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Published : 2013-12-10 20:37
Updated : 2013-12-10 20:37

A Coast Guard boat capsized off Jejudo Island on Monday due to strong winds and high tides while rescuing crew of a damaged fishing boat, leaving one dead and three injured.

A rescue boat carrying five coast guards and five fishermen from a stranded vessel off the northeastern coast of the southern island crashed into a much larger 3,000-ton Coast Guard cutter as a high wave turned the small motorboat upside down.

Nine of the 10 on the rescue boat were retrieved while one fisherman went missing.

Identified only by his surname Go, the missing man was found dead on Hamdeok beach, Jejudo Island, on Tuesday morning. Meanwhile, three Coast Guard officers are receiving treatment for injuries sustained during the accident, with one in critical condition after fracturing his lower vertebrae.

A 9.7-ton fishing boat experienced engine failure and had been drifting in high seas when Coast Guard units in Jeju received distress calls on Monday afternoon. The shallow-water fishing boat’s captain initially had asked the Coast Guard to tow the vessel to shore, as wind speeds reached up to 72 kilometers per hour. Coast Guard rescue personnel were forced to abandon the fishing boat due to foul weather.

Current maritime laws forbid rescue staff from forcing sailors off a stranded ship, according to a Korea Coast Guard official. 

By Jeong Hunny (hj257@heraldcorp.com)

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