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Cruise ship runs aground off southwest coast, passengers rescued

A cruise ship carrying 104 passengers and five crew members ran aground in waters off a southwestern island on Tuesday but all people on board were rescued, the Coast Guard said.

The accident took place around 9:14 a.m. when the 171-ton vessel Vacance hit a submerged rock in waters not far from Hongdo Island, South Jeolla Province.

Coast Guard officers rushed to the scene upon receiving a distress call and rescued all of those aboard the ship in 30 minutes with the help of nearby fishing boats, according to sources.

The rescued passengers were taken to a port on the island to wait for a ferry bound for the southwestern port of Mokpo.

The excursion ship left the Hongdo port early in the morning for a cruise around the scenic island.

The accident came more than five months after the ferry Sewol sank in waters off the southwestern island of Jindo, killing more than 300 passengers. (Yonhap)