SEOUL — Fishermen recovered 11 more bodies from the western Bering Sea on Wednesday near where a South Korean fishing ship sank earlier this week.
The bodies appear to be from the ship lost Monday in the waters near Russia, according to an official from the foreign ministry who didn't want to be named, citing office rules. One fisherman's body was recovered Monday and seven fishermen were rescued. More than 50 went missing when the ship sank.
The bodies were found by fishing vessels searching the debris of the sunken Oryong 501, said the ministry official. Furious relatives have blamed the company and the ship's captain for not doing enough to save their family members. Rough seas and bad weather mean there is little hope that anyone will be found alive.
Coast guard helicopters from Russia and the United States and at least five fishing ships were searching for the missing, according to an official from Seoul's foreign ministry, who didn't want to be named citing office rules. The U.S. rescue ship Munro should arrive Thursday to help the search effort.
The crew included 35 Indonesians, 13 Filipinos, 11 South Koreans and one Russian inspector, according to the South Korean government. It's believed the ship began to list after stormy weather caused seawater to flood its storage areas, according to officials from the government and the company that owns the ship.
The ship left South Korea on July 10 to catch pollock, a winter delicacy in South Korea, according to company officials. The sinking struck a nerve in a country less than eight months from its deadliest maritime disaster in decades. The sinking of the Sewol ferry off South Korea's southwestern coast in April left more than 300 passengers dead, mostly teenagers on a school trip, causing nationwide grief and fury.