SEOUL, South Korea: Ten people died and eight others were believed to be missing after a boat carrying passengers on a fishing trip capsized off South Korea’s southern coast, officials said Sunday.
Three people were rescued and flown to a hospital with injuries that weren’t life-threatening, Jeju coast guard officers said on condition of anonymity because of office rules. Dozens of ships searched the area for survivors.
The 9.8 ton boat, Dolphin, lost communication with another boat on Saturday evening and was found Sunday morning north of the resort island of Jeju.
A survivor said the boat quickly capsized after being caught by nets for fish farms, according to a coast guard statement. Coast guard officers said that the exact cause of the capsizing was still unknown, and that weather conditions at the time of the incident weren’t really bad.
Another survivor, identified only by the surname Park, awoke to find the captain telling the passengers to get out as the boat filled with water, according to Yonhap news agency. Park said that some people clung to the boat for more than 10 hours, but that some disappeared in the strong waves before rescuers arrived, Yonhap said.
Twenty-one people were believed to have been on board the boat, including the captain, who was among the 10 dead. The rest were passengers on a fishing trip, not professional fishermen, according to the coast guard.