A fishing boat carrying 14 people overturned after colliding with a cargo vessel off the country's southern coast, leaving three people dead and two missing, authorities said Friday.
The 9.77-ton Mujeok, carrying the captain, a sailor and 12 anglers, capsized after running into a 3,000-ton cargo ship in waters about 80 kilometers south of Yokji Island at around 5 a.m., according to the Coast Guard.
The island is located near the coastal city of Tongyeong, about 330 km south of Seoul.
Two of them, including the 57-year-old captain, surnamed Choi, were found unconscious and were later pronounced dead. Another person sent to a hospital in critical condition also died. Two others are missing.
The remaining nine were rescued safely and transported to a nearby port, the authorities said.
Search operations are under way to find the missing people.
The Coast Guard confirmed that the accident was due to a collision with the Panama-registered cargo vessel, which is being currently sent to Tongyeong Port under escort for further investigation.
Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon issued an emergency order to make all-out efforts to search for the missing people, according to his office.
Lee called for a mobilization of all available resources for the rescue operation and provision of proper medical services to the injured. (Yonhap)