Five people died when a Korean Coast Guard boat capsized Thursday on a mission to rescue a Malaysian cargo ship 27.7 km west of Chagwi Island, Jeju.
The casualties include one Filipino and two Chinese sailors who were being rescued from the cargo ship. One of four coast guards on the boat, a 28-year-old identified by his surname Kim, lost conscious while rescuing a sailor. He was taken to the hospital and is in critical condition.
The cargo ship Shinline called the Jeju Coast Guard at 7:15 a.m. and asked for help as it was being flooded in 61 km west of Chagwi Island, Jeju. Of the 19 crewmembers aboard, 13 were Chinese and six Filipinos.
At the time, a high seas watch was in effect with waves over four meters high. The Jeju Coast Guard said the rescue had to go ahead despite the bad weather. "Normally we get 11 people on the boat, but sailors scrambled aboard so it was carrying 17 people," causing it to capsize, an official said. "All sailors were wearing life jackets at the time of the rescue."