China Demands Damages From S. Korea Over Capesized Fishing Boat
On Tuesday, China demanded that South Korea pay damages for the sinking of a Chinese fishing boat in the Yellow Sea Saturday. South Korean coast guard stopped the fishing boat for illegal fishing in South Korean waters. When S. Korean coastguardsmen attempted to board the vessel the fishermen hit them with metal pipes, shovels and clubs injuring four coastguardsmen. During the commotion the 63-ton fishing boat rammed into the 3,000-ton South Korean coast guard ship, causing the fishing boat to capsize. Some reports claim the fishing boat deliberately rammed the coast guard ship to allow the fifty-some other Chinese fishing vessels in the area to escape.
South Korea launched a search and rescue operation to recover the ten fishermen who were thrown overboard during the sinking. S. Korea’s coast guard pulled 9 of the fishermen to safety, one man, the fishing boats 28- year-old captain, was recovered unconscious and died later at a nearby hospital. The tenth fisherman remains missing.
On Tuesday China demanded that South Korea pay damages for the loss of life and property. They also requested that South Korea ensure that incidents like this not happen again.
There are growing concerns in South Korea that China is deliberately sending its fishing boats into disputed waters in order to meet the growing demand for seafood in the country. Just last year South Korea’s coast guard captured more than 300 fishing boats for illegal fishing in South Korean waters.