11 bodies from sunken S. Korean fishing boat recovered

December 3, 2014

**This article has been updated.

BUSAN/SEOUL (Yonhap) — Rescuers on Wednesday recovered 11 more bodies from the area where a South Korean fishing boat sank in the Bering Sea earlier this week, the ship’s owner said.

The recovery raised the confirmed death toll from the sinking to 12, with 41 remaining unaccounted for, according to Sajo Industries.

The 1,753-ton Oryong 501 carrying 60 crew members sank in the western Bering Sea Monday. One Russian inspector, three Filipinos and three Indonesians were rescued, with a South Korean sailor dying shortly after being rescued.

The 11 bodies recovered Wednesday are presumed to be three South Koreans, seven Indonesians, and one Filipino, according to the company.

“We are trying to verify their identities,” said an official at the company.

Seoul has asked the Russian government to speed up its search and rescue operations for the missing crew.

A total of five ships are involved in the search and rescue operations, according to the foreign ministry.

The U.S. coast guard has flown its aircraft in the search and U.S. rescue ship Munro is scheduled to arrive at the accident scene soon, it added.

The foreign ministry has sent two diplomats to Russia to support the rescue efforts. Two officials in Seoul’s consulate in Vladivostok will also join them, it said.

The Oryong 501, built in Spain in 1978, was acquired by South Korean fisheries firm Sajo Industries in 2010.

The vessel sank in bad weather despite crew members’ efforts to right the ship by using a pump, according to Sajo.