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.
The 9.7 ton fishing vessel Seonchang 1 capsized after colliding with the 336 ton tanker Myeongjin 15 near Incheon, South Korea. The Seonchang 1 was under charter with 22 persons on board was passing through a narrow channel near the Yeongheung Bridge when it was struck by the tanker. The fishing vessel quickly capsized spilling some passengers into the sea while others were trapped below deck. Authorities were alerted and launched a search and rescue operation. Rescuers found 3 survivors who were pulled from the water. Divers inspected the overturn hull and found 3 additional survivors. The 3 fishermen had found an air pocket keeping them alive until divers could rescue them. Divers also recovered 13 bodies from the Seonchang 1. Reports state two were still reported missing including the master of the Seonchang 1.