At least one Vietnamese sailor has been killed as a South Korean boat with 42 crew members sank near the South Pole early Monday, S.Korean officials said.
Sources from New Zealand Navy and S.Korean Foreign Ministry said that five sailors from the No.1 In Sung died, 20 were rescued by another boat and 17 were stll missing.
A S. Korean Foreign Ministry official said two Indonesians, two South Koreans and one Vietnamese, identified as Nguyen Tuong, have been confirmed dead.
There were ten other Vietnamese sailors on board. Seven of them have been rescued, including Tran Dinh Khanh, Nguyen Mau Hien, Tran Ngoc Son, Nguyen Van Nam, Hoang Van Bac, Nguyen Van An and Le Quang Ruc. Three others Nguyen Van Thanh, Nguyen Van Son and Nguyen Song Hao were still missing, according to a source from the ministry.
The 614-ton fishing vessel was also carrying sailors from China, Indonesia, the Philippines and Russia when it sank at 2:30 a.m. (Vietnam time) nearly 2.6 kilometers to the south of New Zealand, foreign media reports said.
New Zealand rescuers said there was little chance that the missing sailors would survive in waters of two Celsius degrees.
Three fishing boats from South Korea and an airplane and two naval ships from New Zealand are looking for the missing persons.
Ross Henderson, a New Zealand marine spokesperson, said New Zealand authorities hadn't received any May Day signal from the boat.