New Zealand to probe into sunken S Korean ship

15:38, August 19, 2010      

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File photo of the fishing boat which sank in waters off New Zealand early Wednesday. (Xinhua/APF file photo)

The sinking of fishing vessel Oyang 70 will be investigated by New Zealand officials despite the fact that the vessel was registered in South Korea and sank in international waters.

New Zealand Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) spokesman Peter Northcote told the New Zealand Press Association ( NZPA) on Thursday that it is not unusual to investigate accidents involving foreign-registered vessels in international waters.

Northcote confirmed on Thursday that New Zealand is prepared to pay for the investigation to be launched.

"We take responsibility for the investigations we conduct, and people pick up their own costs in that sense," he said. "The fact is vessels get into trouble all over the world, and a lot of the sea is not actually within someone's 12 mile limit," he said.

The 82-meter long vessel sank Wednesday morning about 700 km southeast of New Zealand southern city of Dunedin, putting it well outside the 12 nautical mile limit in which the ship would be New Zealand's responsibility to investigate.

It is likely that South Korean investigators will also aid with inquiries into the Oyang 70 sinking.

Forty-five out of the 51 crew members have been rescued.

The bodies of three Indonesian crew members who drowned have been recovered while the body of South Korean captain Shin Hyeon- Go and two other Indonesian crew members were still missing.

Source: Xinhua


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