On January 17, an 85 tonne fishing vessel caught fire off the coast of Narodo Island, South Korea. Authorities were alerted and dispatched a patrol boat to the scene. Authorities were able to extinguish the blaze, but the fishing vessel sustained significant damage to its stern. One of the 12 crew on board suffered burns from the fire and was taken to hospital. Two crew were listed as missing. Reports state the men may have jumped overboard right after the fire broke out. Authorities have not released the name of the fishing vessel.
On March 31, the 53 meter long, 62 dwt high speed catamaran ferry Eldorado struck an unknown object in the Sea of Japan while en route to Ulleundo Island from Dokdo, South Korea. The Eldorado sustained hull damage and water ingress in the engine room. The crew was able to control the flooding with the vessel’s pumps and maintain power. The Eldorado contacted authorities who dispatched a patrol vessel to the scene. The patrol vessel escorted the Eldorado which had to proceed at reduced speed to Ulleungdo Island. No reports of injuries to the 403 passengers and crew on board.
On March 25, the 34 meter long, 223 gt high speed catamaran passenger ferry Pink Dolphin ran aground off the coast of Sinan, South Korea. The ferry was en route to Mokpo from Hongdo Island with 163 passengers and crew. The Pink Dolphin was proceeding in dense fog when it ran up on the rocks near Heuksan Island.
Six people sustained minor injuries during the grounding. The Korean Coast Guard arrived on scene and took the injured off the ferry to Heuksan Island for treatment. The remaining crew and passengers waited for more than an hour before a rescue boat arrived. All passengers were transferred off the Pink Dolphin.
Reports state the Pink Dolphin may have run aground to avoid colliding with a fishing vessel. Authorities have launched an investigation into the incident.