Sunken S. Korean fishing boat update: Rescuers fail to find survivors overnight

December 2, 2014
This photo shows an accident site where a South Korean fishing ship sunk off the coast of the Russian Far East on Dec. 1, 2014. (Yonhap)

This photo shows an accident site where a South Korean fishing ship sunk off the coast of the Russian Far East on Dec. 1, 2014. (Yonhap)

SEOUL (Yonhap) — Rescuers failed to find any of the 52 people missing from a South Korean fishing boat that sank off the coast of the Russian Far East during an overnight search, South Korea’s foreign ministry said Tuesday.

The 1,753-ton Oryong 501 carrying 60 crew members sank in the western Bering Sea Monday, leaving one Korean crew member confirmed dead. One Russian inspector, three Filipinos and three Indonesians have been rescued.

“None of the missing crew members were rescued overnight,” Seoul’s foreign ministry said. “Search and rescue efforts are still underway.”

The vessel took on water in bad weather and sank despite crew members’ efforts to right the ship by using a pump. At the time of the sinking, the waves were said to be more than 13 feet high and the water temperatures were below 14 degrees Fahrenheit.

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

The company has been trying to identify the dead crew member. It has also set up a special headquarters to deal with the accident at its office in the country’s southern port city of Busan.

Seoul’s foreign ministry said that it has asked the Russian government to speed up its search and rescue operations for the missing crew members.

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