11 Bodies Recovered Near Sunken SKorean Fishing Boat

by REERA YOO | @reeraboo

On Wednesday, rescuers recovered 11 more bodies from the western Bering Sea, where a South Korean fishing boat sank earlier this week, reports the Associated Press.

The bodies were found by fishermen searching for debris of the sunken Oryong 501, according to Seoul’s foreign ministry. Sajo Industries, the firm that owns the sunken vessel, said that 11 bodies recovered were presumed to be three South Koreans, seven Indonesians and one Filipino.

With this recovery, the death toll from the sinking has been raised to 12 while 41 crew members remain missing. Due to rough seas and stormy weather, it is most likely that the death toll will continue to rise.

A foreign ministry official said that Russia and the U.S. have sent coast guard helicopters to assist with the search for the missing crew members, and at least five fishing ships have been mobilized near the site. In addition, the U.S. rescue ship Munro is expected to arrive on Thursday to join the rescue operations.

The Oryong 501 sank on Monday in the frigid waters near Russia while fishing for pollock, a winter delicacy in Korea. The ship was carrying 60 crew members, which consisted of 35 Indonesians, 13 Filipinos, 11 Koreans and one Russian. Seven people were rescued and one body was recovered on Monday.

According to AP, the waves were more than 13 feet high and the water was 14 degrees Fahrenheit at the time of the sinking. It is believed that the ship began to list after seawater flooded into its storage areas.

Family members of the missing crew members have expressed their anger and blamed Sajo Industries and the ship’s captain for not doing enough to save their loved ones.