Monday, December 13, 2010

Five dead and seventeen missing as South Korean trawler sinks

The New York Times reports that the crew was an international group:
The 190-foot trawler, the In Sung, sank around 6:30 a.m., about 1,000 miles north of McMurdo Station, a United States science and research center on Ross Island, in Antarctica. The Rescue Coordination Center New Zealand said there was no immediate indication for the cause of the sinking. The center also said no distress call had been issued.

Three South Korean and two New Zealand fishing vessels aided in the search and rescue efforts, the agency said, adding that the water temperature in the area was 2 degrees Celsius, or 36 degrees Fahrenheit.

"Survival times in the water are about 10 minutes without lifejackets or immersion suits,” the agency said in a statement.

The 614-ton long-line fishing trawler is reportedly based in Pusan, in southern South Korea. Among the crew were Chinese, Indonesians, Filipinos and one Russian.
Normally, something so many thousands of miles away from the Yellow Sea or the East Sea would not have me imagining Pyongyang involvement, but with the way North Korea has been acting lately — pushing the envelope, crossing lines, and itching for a fight — I can't help but wonder if that's what's up when a ship goes down so fast they don't even have time to give out a distress call.

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