A merchant ship from Togo sank in the international waters off South Korea’s western coast on Monday, leaving three people missing.
This comes amid ongoing search for victims of a separate collision between a tanker and a fishing boat in the Yellow Sea on Sunday.
Local media reported that seven people aboard the 1,321-ton Togolese vessel had been rescued, including one from Myanmar. No other nationalities were immediately disclosed.
According to Yonhap News Agency, the South Korean Coast Guard received a distress call from the cargo ship at 4.23 p.m. [0723GMT] when it was 54 nautical miles off Socheong Island, located close to North Korea in an area that has seen tensions rise over illegal Chinese fishing in recent years.
South Korean and Chinese rescue crews were both dispatched in response to the incident.
It has been an arduous couple of days for the South’s Coast Guard, which is yet to locate two people unaccounted for after a private fishing boat collided with a tanker off Yeongheung Island near Incheon early Sunday, also resulting in 13 recorded deaths.
The South Korean government has been forced to take maritime accidents particularly seriously in the wake of the 2014 Sewol ferry disaster that claimed more than 300 lives off the country’s southwestern coastline.
While the Sewol’s sinking happened under the leadership of President Moon Jae-in’s much-criticized predecessor Park Geun-hye, Moon issued a call for improved safety standards.
“The government should be held accountable for protecting its citizens no matter what,” Moon was quoted as telling presidential office staff by The Korea Times on Monday.