2 bodies found after Korean tug goes missing in the Taiwan Strait

Taiwan’s National Coast Guard Administration personnel recovered two bodies this morning during a search for a Korean-owned pusher tug with six crew aboard that went missing after sending a distress call yesterday, April 8.

The Sierra Leone-flagged tug Kyoto No. 1 was en route from the Port of Busan, Korea to Batam, Indonesia via the Taiwan Strait when the crew sent a distress signal from a position close to the Penghu Islands at 9:50 am, Thursday.

Taiwan’s National Rescue Command Center received the distress call and the National Coast Guard Administration immediately dispatched patrol vessels and helicopters to assist the crew. However, coast guard personnel located the unpowered Kyoto No. 2 around one nautical mile east of Saha Island, but the tug and six Korean crew members were missing.

Six coast guard patrol ships, and three aircraft continued to comb the area this morning. Coast guard personnel found one body at 10:00 am, and a second at around 11:30 am, believed to be from the missing boat. The bodies were recovered and taken to Magong Port on Penghu Island to await identification.

In a separate incident, a Korean Coast Guard helicopter that was returning to base after transporting crew to a Korean Coast Guard ship dispatched to assist with the search and rescue operation for Kyoto No. 1 crashed near Korea’s southernmost island of Maru, killing two crew members, and leaving one missing at around 1:00 am this morning local time.

Kyoto No. 1 and Kyoto No. 2 in dry dock
Kyoto No. 1 and Kyoto No. 2 in dry dock at the Port of Busan, date unspecified. From Marine Traffic.
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