The Seonchang-1 fishing boat was carrying 20 passengers on a fishing tour as well as two sailors when it crashed. An official from the Korea coastguard said seven people had been rescued, but two others were missing, including the boat’s captain.
Rescue operation after accident
The rescued are treated at hospitals. All of the passengers were wearing life jackets but many appeared to have suffered hypothermia. After all, the refueling vessel did not suffer damage. The tragic accident was followed by a rescue operation ordered even by the President Moon Jae-in who asked authorities to deploy as many helicopters and other aircraft as possible to search for the missing. Five aircraft including helicopters had been dispatched to the site. 19 coastguard and naval vessels were also at the site of accident. The cause of collision was not yet determined. TV footage showed the fishing boat sinking beneath churning waves while rescue divers searched around the deck, part of which was still visible above the water. There were other maritime accidents in South Korea in the past. In one of them, in 2014, more than 50 fishermen died or were missing after their vessel sank in the Bering Sea.