Posted on November 19, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
At least one seafarer is dead, and 11 others are still missing after a South Korean vessel caught on fire off the coast of a South Korean resort island.
The incident occurred during the early morning hours of Tuesday the 19th of November, while the vessel was operating some 41 nautical miles west of South Korea’s Jeju Island.
According to local maritime police. the fire erupted at approximately 07:09 am in the morning. Local authorities immediately launched a search & rescue operation that is still on-going at the time of writing. A South Korean Navy vessel was dispatched, alongside a number of helicopters & civilian vessels in order to locate the missing seafarers.
Unfortunately, however, adverse weather conditions in the area are complicating the rescue operation.
The S&R team has so far located one of the crew members of the distressed vessel, some 4 nautical miles south of the accident site.
The crew member was found in the open sea and had not been wearing a life vest. The 60-year-old seafarer was promptly airlifted to a nearby hospital but unfortunately was declared dead on arrival.
According to the local police, the crew of the fishing vessel is made up of six South Koreans and six Vietnamese nationals.
The extent of the fire on the vessel is such, that the ship has begun to sink. The hull of the ship is half-submerged in the water, and black smoke can be seen rising from the vessel.
The S&R team is waiting for the fire to die down before they can enter the sinking vessel.