4 missing, 1 dead in failed rescue attempt at sea

Home > National > Social Affairs

print dictionary print

4 missing, 1 dead in failed rescue attempt at sea


A Coast Guard AW139 helicopter was lost at sea Wednesday while on a rescue mission. [NEWSIS]

A Coast Guard helicopter with four crewmen on board crashed Wednesday during a mission to rescue a Coast Guard member who became seriously ill while on patrol in a ship off Jeju Island.

The Coast Guard yesterday found the wreckage of the helicopter and the body of the woman who was being airlifted by the helicopter to a hospital on Jeju Island. Officials were searching yesterday for the missing crew members. The cause of the accident was not known.

According to Jeju Coast Guard, Lee Yu-jin, 28, was aboard the Jeju 1502 ship patrolling 131 kilometers (81.4 miles) from Hallim-eup, Jeju Island, when she collapsed about 7 p.m. Wednesday. Officials said Lee was in critical condition with an extremely high body temperature.

The AW139 helicopter, with a speed of 260 kilometers per hour (161.5 mph), was dispatched from Jeju International Airport about 7:30 p.m. to airlift Lee to Jeju Island.

But after the helicopter retrieved Lee about 8:20 p.m., air traffic controllers lost contact with the helicopter about 9:20 p.m.

The helicopter crew consisted of a captain, vice captain and two other officers. They were all members of the Jeju Coast Guard.

Twenty ships and four aircraft were dispatched that night from the Coast Guards in Jeju, Mokpo, and Seogwipo to search for the missing helicopter. About 9 a.m. yesterday, a patrol helicopter and ship found Lee’s body 105 kilometers from Hallim-eup and the debris of the helicopter was found several kilometers nearby. The 20 billion won ($17 million) helicopter, imported from AgustaWestland in Italy, was brand-new, officials said, and was equipped with the latest emergency medical equipment. The helicopter belongs to the Namhae Coast Guard, and had been sent to Jeju Island on Feb.18 for transporting emergency patients to the island.

By Kim Hee-jin [heejin@joongang.co.kr]

Related Korean Article[중앙일보]

실종 헬기에 탔던 여순경 시신 발견

23일 밤 제주 해상에서 실종된 남해지방해양경찰청 제주항공대 소속 AW-139 헬기 탑승자인 이유진(28·여) 순경 시신과 헬기 잔해들이 발견됐다.

송나택 제주해양경찰서장은 24일 브리핑에서 “이날 오전 8시21분쯤 제주시 한경면 차귀도 북서쪽 57마일(103㎞) 부근에서 꼬리, 문짝 등 헬기 잔해와 이 순경의 시신을 발견했다”고 밝혔다.

이 순경의 시신은 발견 당시 얼굴 좌우 측이 함몰되고 피멍이 든 것으로 알려졌다. 해경은 이 순경의 시신을 제주대학교 병원 장례식장에 안치했다. 송 서장은 “사고 당시 날씨는 풍속 8∼10m, 파고 1∼2m, 시정거리 926m로 맑고 양호한 상태였다”며 “사고 원인이 기상악화는 아닌 것으로 추정된다”고 밝혔다.

헬기 기장의 조종 미숙 가능성에 대해서도 “기장인 이병훈(40) 경위는 AW-139 헬기를 조종하기 위해 이탈리아에 가서 교육을 받았고, 야간비행 시간도 200여 시간가량 되고, 야간구조 경력도 6회나 된다”고 말했다. 실종된 이 경위와 부기장 권범석 경위는 지난해 천안함 사건과 98금양호 사건 수색작업에 투입된 바 있는 베테랑 조종사다.

해경은 추락한 헬기의 블랙박스를 찾으면 사고 원인을 알 수 있을 것으로 보고있다.

해경은 나머지 실종자를 찾기 위해 해경청 챌린저 항공기 1대와 경비함정 8척, 해군 함정 2척 등을 동원해 시신과 잔해가 발견된 인근 해역을 수색하고 있다.

해상에 추락한 AW-139 헬기는 23일 오후 8시20분쯤 제주시 한경면 차귀도 서쪽 74㎞ 지점에 있던 제주해경 1502 함에서 응급환자인 이 순경을 태우고 제주공항으로 되돌아오던 중 통신이 두절됐다.

More in Social Affairs

Moon may be first to get vaccinated

President goes too far in talking about adoption abuse

Samsung's Lee Jae-yong returned to jail

Universities having trouble filling freshmen classes

Appeals court sends Samsung's Lee Jae-yong to jail

Log in to Twitter or Facebook account to connect
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
help-image Social comment?
lock icon

To write comments, please log in to one of the accounts.

Standards Board Policy (0/250자)

What’s Popular Now