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(LEAD) Chinese fishing boat sinks off S. Korea's west coast, leaving 7 crew members missing

National 09:25 October 20, 2021

(ATTN: UPDATES with more info from 4th para)

GUNSAN, South Korea, Oct. 20 (Yonhap) -- A Chinese fishing boat capsized in waters off the southwestern city of Gunsan on Wednesday, leaving seven crew members missing, Coast Guard officials said.

According to the Coast Guard, the 239-ton vessel capsized shortly after midnight in waters 124 kilometers southwest of Gunsan's Eocheong Island.

Of the 15 crewmen aboard the ship, eight have been rescued, but a search is still under way to rescue the seven others.

This photo provided by the Coast Guard shows rescuers search the sea off Gunsan, North Jeolla Province, on Oct. 20, 2021 after a Chinese fishing boat capsized, leaving seven crewmen missing. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

A team of four patrol ships and two aircrafts were additionally dispatched to back up the search operation in cooperation with a fishery inspection boat and two Chinese fishing boats at the scene, officials said.

But rescuers were having difficulties due to high waves of up to three meters and bad weather.

"After designating the 20-kilometer radius of the accident scene as the scope of search, we are looking for those missing people," an official at the Coast Guard's Gunsan office said.

The capsized Chinese boat was fishing in the South Korean exclusive economic zone after getting permission, the officials said.

pbr@yna.co.kr
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