Two missing bodies found in boat crashAuthorities found on Tuesday the two missing bodies from the collision on Sunday between a 9.77-ton fishing boat and a 336-ton oil tanker in waters southwest of Incheon, including the fishing captain.
Relatives have confirmed the identities of the two bodies as the 70-year-old captain surnamed Oh and a 57-year-old passenger surnamed Lee.
With the bodies now located, the number of deaths was brought up to 15. Authorities have now accounted for all bodies.
There were 22 people on the fishing boat. Seven survived. All people on the oil tanker survived.
The authorities, who had dispatched nearly 60 vessels, 15 aircraft and some 60 divers to search the waters, and nearly 1,400 people to search the coasts in the area on Monday, found the two bodies some 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) from the collision site.
Oh’s body was found on a mud flat near the Yongdam Beach in Incheon at around 9:37 a.m.
Authorities said they did not find any signs of external injury and that there was blood coming out of his ears and eyes and that his stomach was bloated, signs usually found with drowning victims.
Oh’s son confirmed in person on Tuesday morning that the body was his father’s. The body has been moved to a hospital in Siheung, Gyeonggi.
Lee’s body was found in the waters some 2.2 kilometers from the collision site at around 12:05 p.m. A helicopter searching the area located the body and a boat was dispatched to haul it from the waters.
Lee was wearing a red top and black pants. His wife identified the body. He was moved to a hospital in Incheon. It is unclear if the two were wearing life vests.
The collision took place south of Yeongheung Bridge, which connects Yeongheung Island to Seonjae Island in Incheon. The oil tanker collided with the fishing boat 1.6 kilometers south of the bridge, hitting the boat’s port-side stern.
The boat had just left Yeongheung Island for fishing minutes before the collision, and the oil tanker was on its way to Pyeongtaek from Wolmi Island.
Authorities are investigating which vessel may be more responsible for the collision.
The Act on the Arrival, Departure, Etc. of Ships and the Maritime Safety Act state that all vessels must navigate on the right side of a waterway in order to avoid colliding with any other vessels coming from the opposite direction.
Marine police said in a press briefing that the two vessels were headed in the same direction when they collided. Police requested a detention warrant for the captain and deck hand of the oil tanker for accidental homicide on Tuesday.
The captain admitted his mistake to police by saying he saw the fishing boat before the collision and thought it would get out of the way on its own.
The captain was in the steering house of the boat at the time of the collision. The deck hand, who was supposed to be with the captain in the steering house to look out for possible dangers, was down in the engine room at the time of the collision, police said. The hearing for the warrant will be held today.
BY LIM MYOUNG-SOO, ESTHER CHUNG [firstname.lastname@example.org]