A civilian diver taking part in the search for those missing from a recently sunken ferry died Tuesday after falling unconscious during a mission, officials said.
The diver, identified as a 53-year-old man surnamed Lee, was brought to a hospital in Mokpo, a southwestern port city located near the sinking site, around 7:12 a.m., but was pronounced dead soon after.
Lee, who is a crew member of Undine Marine Industries, lost contact 5 minutes after diving into water around 25 meters deep at 6:05 a.m.
Undine Marine Industries is a private business specializing in offshore and subsea engineering as well as maritime rescue and salvage work.
Local Coast Guard officials said they have suspended all search efforts for the time being following the accident. (Yonhap)