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(LEAD) 4 missing after fishing boat collides with 23,000-ton vessel

All News 17:21 January 10, 2017

(ATTN: UPDATES with more details throughout)

POHANG, South Korea, Jan. 10 (Yonhap) -- Four crew members of a fishing boat have gone missing after it collided with a merchant ship off South Korea's southeastern coast Tuesday, Coast Guard officials said.

The 74-ton local fishing boat was carrying seven crewmen when it collided with the 23,269-ton bulk carrier Inspiration Lake in waters some 22 miles off the southeastern port city of Pohang at around 2 p.m., officials said.

Three of the fishermen -- two Korean and one Vietnamese -- have been rescued, and another four -- three Korean and one Chinese -- are still missing, according to Coast Guard officials.

"All the crew members seem to have fallen into the water after the boat collided with the merchant vessel," an official source said. "We are investigating the details of the incident and searching for the missing four."

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