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17 Vietnamese rescued after ship sinks near eastern Ulleung Island: Coast Guard

17:15 December 02, 2021

DONGHAE, South Korea, Dec. 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's Coast Guard rescued 17 Vietnamese sailors Thursday after their cargo ship sank near the eastern island of Ulleung a day earlier, officials said Thursday.

The 5,765-ton Panama-registered vessel carrying 18 Vietnamese crew members went down in waters 154 kilometers north of the East Sea island at around 9:50 a.m. Wednesday, according to the Donghae regional office of the Coast Guard.

The incident took place north of the Northern Limit Line, the de facto inter-Korean maritime border.

Seventeen of the 18 crew members safely escaped from the sinking ship onto a lifeboat and were rescued by the Coast Guard at 4:08 a.m. Thursday while floating in waters 131 kilometers northeast of the South Korean island.

The other crew member remains unaccounted for after being swept away by waves.

A high seas warning has been issued in the area for the second consecutive day Wednesday.

This illustrated image depicts the sinking of a ship. (Yonhap)

The Coast Guard picked up the SOS signal coming from the ship's emergency position indicating radio beacon through a local user terminal at 4:31 p.m. on the day of the accident and shared the information with Japan's Coast Guard.

Japan's Coast Guard dispatched a patrol ship to the area but could not reach the lifeboat, as it was too far away. A Russian merchant vessel also spotted the lifeboat but could not save the crew members due to harsh weather conditions.


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