Monday, October 19, 2009
A South Korean ship with five crew members went missing yesterday near the Dokdo islets in the East Sea, the Coast Guard said. A search and rescue mission was launched early in the day after the waste disposal ship was reported missing around 1:37 a.m., according to maritime authorities. The 118-ton ship had been working to collect disposed fishing nets in the area since sailing from its home port in Pohang on Monday. It was on its way to Ulleung Island to take shelter due to worsening weather. At the time, the area saw 4 meter (13 feet) high waves and strong winds of up to 16 meters per second. “We launched the search and rescue mission after receiving a distress call from the ship shortly after midnight,” an official at the Coast Guard said. A thin belt of oil has been spotted in the area where the ship was last heard from, the Coast Guard added.