SEOUL (Reuters) – Some 110 people aboard a South Korean sightseeing ship were rescued by fishing boats after the vessel ran aground near a rocky island on Tuesday, reviving tragic memories of a ferry disaster earlier this year in which hundreds of people drowned.
The coast guard said in a statement that it had asked the fishing boats to assist after receiving a distress call, as it would have taken its patrol vessels longer to reach the stricken vessel.
The ship was stranded a short distance from the island of Hong-do, about 100km off the southwest coast. Television images showed the vessel to be listing slightly, but it did not appear to be sinking.
Three people suffered minor injuries during the incident, a coast guard official told Reuters by telephone.
South Korea was plunged into grief and anger after the Sewol ferry sank on April 16 killing more than 300 people, most of them schoolchildren, in the country’s worst maritime disaster in 44 years.