One of nine crew members of a fishing boat that capsized in the East Sea on Wednesday has been found dead, and two have been rescued, police said Thursday.
From 6:30 a.m. Thursday, the Coast Guard dispatched 14 divers to search the overturned ship. In the process, one of the crew was found dead in the wheelhouse.
By collating the scene photo with his driver‘s license, the deceased found in the wheelhouse was identified as the captain, surnamed Park, 62, police said in the afternoon briefing.
Two Chinese crew of the boat were rescued by a civilian fishing boat near the site of the accident. They are believed to have held on to anchored buoys for 15 hours without life vests. The Coast Guard used a helicopter to transfer them to a medical center.
A day earlier, the 72-ton vessel carrying nine crew members overturned about 168 kilometers from the Dokdo islets. Sailors of a merchant ship passing by found the ship and reported it to the eighth district of Japan. The point of the accident was between Korea and Japan.
Immediately after receiving the report, the Japan Coast Guard sent a ship, PL-91, to the accident site to search. It also notified the Korean Coast Guard at 2:24 p.m.
The overturned boat was a fishing vessel built in 1995, and at the time of the accident, three Koreans -- the captain, the engineer and the deck leader -- and six foreign sailors -- four Chinese and two Indonesians -- were on board.
The accident is reported to have occurred while the ship was making its way to fish red crab.
The Coast Guard immediately dispatched 5,000-ton and 1,500-ton patrol ships and helicopters to the site. The dispatched ships arrived at the accident site at night.
As day dawned, four ships from the Coast Guard and the Navy, three helicopters and two aircraft, as well as civilian fishing boats and fishing guidance ships, were being deployed to expand the search.
But the search has been made difficult by the weather. A storm has brought with it waves as high as 3 to 4 meters.
Police also requested cooperation from local governments, fire authorities and related agencies on the rescue.
Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum on Wednesday instructed the ministers of maritime affairs and fisheries and national defense, as well as the head of the Coast Guard, to do their best to save lives and ensure the safety of the rescue teams.
He also ordered the minister of foreign affairs to make all diplomatic efforts to encourage neighboring countries such as Japan and Russia to help save lives.
By Shin Ji-hye (email@example.com