10 Missing After Vessels Collide off South Korea

Lifesaving buoy

Published Jan 25, 2015 3:43 PM by Kayla Turner

Ten crew members are missing after a Chinese fishing boat collided with a cargo ship near South Korea, China's official Xinhua news agency reported on Friday.

The collision took place off the coast of South Korea's Jeju Island on Thursday night, Xinhua said, citing Yonhap news agency. The fishing boat subsequently sank about 100 miles west of the island.

Three other crew members were rescued. No information was given about the identity of the cargo ship or its crew, although it reportedly did not stop to help the mariners in the water following the collision.

Three vessels and two helicopters from South Korea's coast guard and navy have been searching the area since early Friday but found only an empty lifeboat. Two Chinese rescue vessels were also searching, the Associated Press.

The survivors, who were not wearing life jackets when they were rescued, told South Korean officials that the other crewmen were likely trapped inside the sunken boat, which listed quickly after the collision. The search operation is likely to end in the next two or three days, as search officials say the chances of finding more survivors are pretty bleak after the amount of time that has passed.