On Sunday, a collision between a small tanker and a charter fishing boat off Incheon left 13 dead and two missing. The tanker’s master was arrested after he told authorities that he was aware of the boat and didn’t alter his course, according to JoongAng Daily.
The fishing vessel Seonchang-1 headed out from the port of Jindu at 0600 hours on Sunday morning, with fine weather. Two crewmembers and twenty passengers were on board. Just minutes later, it collided with the 336-tonne tanker Myeongjin-15 during what Korean authorities described as a passing situation in a narrow waterway. The circumstances leading up to the accident are not yet clear.
“There’s no specific problem related to weather conditions, sailing reports or other preparations,” an official told media. “We are investigating how the accident happened.”
Three individuals were rescued by divers from within the boat’s upturned hull, and four more managed to escape the boat and survive. Most of the deceased were reportedly trapped within the vessel’s interior compartments. None of the tanker’s crewmembers were harmed.
A massive multi-agency search effort continues, and 59 boats, 15 planes, 59 divers and over 1,000 shoreside search personnel are looking for the two individuals who remain missing.