At least 13 killed, two missing after fishing boat capsizes in South Korea

  • 3 Dec 2017

The 9.8-tonne fishing boat had 22 people aboard when it collided with a tanker off South Korea's west coast. No casualties or injuries were reported among those on board the tanker.

South Korean coastguard members search for missing people after a fishing boat crashed with a fuel tanker at sea near the western port city of Incheon on December 3, 2017. ( AFP )

At least 13 people are dead and two are missing on Sunday after a South Korean fishing boat collided with a refuelling vessel and capsized, the coast guard said.

An official from the Korea Coast Guard said seven people were rescued and the two missing include the boat's captain. He said 22 people were aboard the 9.8-tonne fishing boat that capsized after colliding with the 336-tonne refuelling vessel in waters off the port city of Incheon.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity, citing office rules. The refueling vessel did not suffer damage.

President Moon Jae-in ordered authorities to deploy as many helicopters and other aircraft as possible to search for the missing, according to his office.

The coast guard official said 19 coast guard and naval vessels and five aircraft including helicopters were dispatched to the site. Authorities were questioning the crew of the refueling vessel to determine the cause of the collision.

South Korea has seen its share of significant maritime accidents in recent years, including the 2014 sinking of a ferry that killed more than 300 people, mostly schoolchildren. More than 50 fishermen died or went missing months later after their vessel sank in the Bering Sea.