Search ends for S Korea fishermen

Undated file photo of No 1 In SungIt is not clear what caused the No 1 In Sung to sink
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Search crews from New Zealand have called off the hunt for 17 missing fishermen from a South Korean trawler that sank in the Southern Ocean.

Five of the 42-man crew died and 20 were rescued after the No 1 In Sung went down about 2,000km (1,250 miles) south of New Zealand.

It sank at about 0630 New Zealand time on Monday (1930 GMT) in calm waters.

The crew included nationals from South Korea, China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Russia.

The 20 crew who were rescued were picked up by another fishing boat operating nearby.

New Zealand rescuers said it was not clear why the boat sank. Conditions were calm and no SOS was sent.


Search co-ordinator Dave Wilson said it was extremely unlikely anyone could survive in the icy waters for very long.

“Unfortunately the Southern Ocean is an extremely unforgiving environment.

“With the sea temperatures around two degrees Celsius, survival times for crew members in the water would be very short. The medical advice is that those who did not suffer cardiac arrest on entering the water would likely be unconscious after one hour, and unable to be resuscitated after two hours,” he said.

“We understand the vessel sank very quickly and the crew had to abandon ship without time to put on adequate emergency gear. Sadly, it is exceedingly unlikely that anyone not picked up yesterday could have survived,” he added.

A spokesman for the boat’s owner, In Sung corporation, said the boat sank within 30 minutes.

“We are trying hard to find the reason why it sank so quickly,” he told AFP news agency.

“We believe the vessel might have been hit by an iceberg or a strong wave, although we have yet to secure any evidence of this. We are now collecting information from the surviving crew.”

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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