(2nd LD) Fishing boat missing after searching for sailors from sunken ship
SEOUL, April 3 (Yonhap) -- A fishing boat has vanished and is feared to have sunk after searching for sailors missing from last week's naval disaster, maritime police said Saturday.
Police said they lost contact with the 99-ton boat, Kumyang 98, carrying nine people aboard, after receiving a distress signal at around 8:30 p.m. Friday in the area off the western sea border with North Korea, where the patrol ship Cheonan ship sank on March 26.
The fishing boat was among 10 vessels mobilized to find the Cheonan's 46 missing sailors. The other 58 crew members were rescued.
The maritime police and navy said that they have sent 16 patrol ships and other vessels, three helicopters and one aircraft to the scene for search and rescue operations.
The police said they caught a Cambodian-registered 1,472-ton freighter sailing nearby, alleging it hit Kumyang.
A police spokesman said scratches in the bow of the ship indicate it was in a collision, also evidenced by oil apparently from the Kumyang floating in waters near the scene.
The freighter in question is being escorted to Incheon Port, the spokesman said.
The nine missing are skipper Kim Jae-hoo, 48, chief engineer Park Yon-joo, 49, Lee Yong-sang, 46, Ahn Sang-chol, 41, Kim Jong-pyong, 55, Chung Bong-jo, 49, Huh Suk-hee, 33, Yusuf Haaefa, 35, and Cambang Nurcahyo, 36.