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(LEAD) Five missing in boat collision off southwestern coast

All Headlines 21:36 July 08, 2018

(ATTN: RECASTS headline, lead; UPDATES throughout)

GUNSAN, South Korea, July 8 (Yonhap) -- Five fishermen are missing after a fishing boat carrying them capsized following a collision with a tugboat in waters off the southwestern coast on Sunday, the Coast Guard said.

The accident happened at 7:13 p.m. in waters southeast of an island near Gunsan, North Jeolla Province, about 274 km southwest of Seoul, when the 7.3-ton shrimp boat hit a 99-ton tugboat and overturned.

Five people, including the 56-year-old captain surnamed Kwon, were aboard the fishing boat, and there were no foreigners, the Coast Guard said.

The captain of the tugboat told the Coast Guard that his boat was hauling a barge and that Kwon's boat may have been caught in the ropes. He said he didn't see anyone in the water after the boat capsized.

The Coast Guard dispatched nine patrol ships, one rescue helicopter and 25 rescue staff to the site to find the missing fishermen. But foggy weather and searching at night have been obstacles, the authorities said.

"The boat is not completely underwater, and we believe there are survivors inside," an official said.

elly@yna.co.kr
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