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(LEAD) Five fishermen missing after boat sinks off Busan

All Headlines 10:48 December 20, 2009

(ATTN: UPDATES with additional details)

BUSAN, Dec. 20 (Yonhap) -- Five fishermen went missing Sunday after their boat sank some 70 kilometers off the southern port city of Busan, police said.

The 129-ton boat, Geumyang, sank shortly after 7 a.m. while operating in waters east of the port city, police said.

Out of 25 crew members aboard the boat, 20 were rescued by three ships from the same fleet operating nearby shortly after the accident, while five -- three South Koreans and two Indonesians -- went missing.

The police are trying to find out the exact cause of the accident, but said they have witnesses saying the boat appeared to have sunk due to bad weather.

High waves in the area were also hindering police search efforts, they said.

A rescue helicopter and three coast guard vessels, including a 3,000-ton ship, have been mobilized to search for the missing persons.

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