Ship sinks near island in South Korea, 17 Vietnamese rescued

Donghae: The South Korean Coast Guard rescued 17 Vietnamese sailors on Thursday after their cargo ship sank near the eastern island of Ulleung the day before,  according to official statement. 

According to the Coast Guard's Donghae regional office, the 5,765-ton Panama-registered vessel carrying 18 Vietnamese crew members went down in waters 154 kilometres north of the East Sea island at around 9.50 a.m. on Wednesday. According to accounts, the incident occurred north of the Northern Limit Line, which serves as a de facto inter-Korean maritime border.

Seventeen of the ship's 18 crew members escaped in a lifeboat and were recovered by the Coast Guard at 4.08 a.m. on Thursday while floating 131 kilometres northeast of the South Korean island. The other members of the team were washed away by the seas and are still missing. On Wednesday, a high seas warning was issued in the area for the second day in a row.

At 4.31 p.m. on the day of the accident, the Coast Guard received an SOS signal from the ship's emergency location indicating radio beacon through a local user terminal and relayed the information to Japan's Coast Guard.

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