INCHEON, Jan.6 (Korea Bizwire) – A mysterious accident in which three crewmen disappeared from a small fishing boat in the middle of the sea has been reported.
There were no signs of leaks or violence on the boat, leaving little evidence to speculate about the cause of the accident.
According to the Incheon Coast Guard, on January 4 at 5:08 p.m., fishing boat ‘A’ was reported to have not returned after going out to sea. A man reported that his brother ‘B’ (63), the captain of the fishing boat ‘A’, did not return after going fishing.
The Coast Guard found the fishing boat 40 minutes after starting its search. The heater in the steering house was on, and lights were on inside and outside the boat. Even the machine that pulls up the nets was on, showing that the crew was working before they disappeared. Half of the net was hung over the boat.
However, the three crewmen including ‘B’ and his son were nowhere to be found.
Fishing boat ‘A’ showed no sign of leaks or violence. No blood or lethal weapon was found. The case couldn’t be seen as a boat malfunction accident, nor a criminal act.
Other local fishermen suggested that the crew could have fallen into the sea when they were pulling up the net.
Park (56), the head of Yeonpyung-myun, commented that considering the clean condition of the boat, the men could have been dragged into the sea when they were throwing or pulling up the net. He added that accidents in which sailors are dragged into the sea while working with nets happen regularly.
However, Kim (57), the head of Yeongji Village on Baeknyeong Island, said it was odd, as one or two crewmen might fall into the sea when a fishing net accident occurs, but he never heard of three men disappearing at once.
Some raised the possibility that the crew met an illegal Chinese fishing boat or turned into North Korea.
However, the location of the accident is quite far from the NLL (northern limit line) of the West Sea, and also not an area frequented by illegal Chinese boats fishing illegally.
The Coast Guard is investigating the case on the hypothesis that the accident occurred while the crew was working with fishing nets.
However, after retrieving all 12 of the fishing nets in use by fishing boat ‘A’, none of the missing bodies were found.
Coast Guard officials assume that the missing individuals may have floated away due to tidal currents.
Experts commented that the seas were calm with one meter waves when the boat was found. They also commented that the current in that area could be as fast as 3.5 knots, but sometimes the water stays still.
As the police found ‘B’ and his son’s cell phones on the boat, and the other crew member’s mobile phone at their lodging on land, they plan to check their call history to find any clues.
Police officials are investigating the case, and remain open to all possibilities.
By Francine Jung (email@example.com)