SEOUL/SINAN. KAZINFORM Rescuers searching a 24-ton fishing boat that capsized off the southwestern coast found five missing crew members dead inside the shipwreck Monday, Coast Guard officials said, Kazinform reports citing YONHAP.
Seawater started to flood the ship's engine room, causing the vessel, the Cheongbo, to overturn at 11:19 p.m. Saturday in waters 16.6 kilometers west of the uninhabited island of Daebichi that lies some 20 km from the southwestern county of Sinan.
The sinking had left nine of the 12 people, including three foreign nationals, on board the ship missing, while the other three were rescued by another boat at the scene.
Divers on an underwater search entered the sunken ship and found one of those missing crew members inside the ship's cabin at 3:22 a.m. and retrieved the body, Coast Guard officials said.
Authorities identified him as the ship's chief engineer in his 60s.
Two more crew members were later found dead near the vessel's stern by Coast Guard divers.
The fourth body of a crew member was recovered inside the vessel later in the afternoon.
All four were South Korean nationals.
The fifth body that was recovered was yet to be identified.
Rescue workers had difficulty entering the ship, where entangled fishing gear and nets blocked their path.
They planned to bring the shipwreck out of the water to search its interior for the missing.