Seoul to end search for sunken trawler crew

Seoul, Dec 29 (IANS) South Korea plans to terminate its search for the missing crew of a sunken trawler, nearly a month after it capsized off Russia’s far east coast, Seoul’s foreign ministry said Monday.

The 1,753-tonne “Oryong 501” carrying 60 crew members capsized in the western Bering Sea Dec 1, Yonhap News Agency said.
One Russian inspector and six crew members — three Filipinos and three Indonesians — survived, while 27 were confirmed dead and 26 remain missing.
South Korea, the US and Russia have conducted the search for the missing crewmen but no progress has been made mainly due to rough weather.
A foreign ministry official said the government will end the search operation Wednesday, given freezing water temperatures and security concerns for rescuers aboard a 5,000-tonne patrol ship dispatched to the area.
Two South Korean surveillance aircraft and a patrol ship have been involved in the search operation.
The official also said South Korean fishing vessels, which have been engaged in the operation, will be withdrawn from the accident scene as they are permitted to fish only until the end of this year.