(LEAD) Cruise ship runs aground off southwest coast, passengers rescued
SHINAN, South Korea, Sept. 30 (Yonhap) -- A cruise ship carrying 104 passengers and five crew members ran aground in waters off a southwestern island on Tuesday but all people on board were rescued, the Coast Guard said.
The accident took place around 9:14 a.m. when the 171-ton vessel Vacance hit a submerged rock in waters not far from Hongdo Island, South Jeolla Province.
Coast Guard officers rushed to the scene upon receiving a distress call and rescued all of those aboard the ship in 30 minutes with the help of nearby fishing boats, according to sources.
The rescued passengers were taken to a port on the island to wait for a ferry bound for the southwestern port of Mokpo.
The excursion ship left the Hongdo port early in the morning for a cruise around the scenic island.
The accident came more than five months after the ferry Sewol sank in waters off the southwestern island of Jindo, killing more than 300 passengers.