Death toll of Indonesians in South Korean fishing ship's sinking rises to 12

Jakarta: The death toll of Indonesians in Monday's sinking of a South Korean fishing vessel has risen to 12, according to Indonesian authorities.

The announcement was made Friday and officials have said that the efforts to seek the remaining missing crewmen are underway, Xinhua reported.

According to Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi and her South Korean counterpart Yun Byung-se, rescue teams had discovered 15 Indonesian citizens on the capsized boat, among whom 12 were found dead, and the remaining were alive and in good condition now.

The ill-fated vessel had left South Korea's southern port city of Busan July 10 for the Bering Sea to catch pollack.

However, the 36-year-old vessel was believed to have begun listing after bad weather caused seawater to flood its storage parts.

The Indonesian foreign affairs ministry however, said in a statement that no time limit has been set to find the remaining crewmen, as of now.

"(The) South Korean authorities would send more rescue teams, including two patrol planes and one special rescue vessel," the statement said.

The search efforts were being conducted by four South Korean vessels, six Russian vessels, one coast guard vessel and one plane from the US, the statement added.

Bodies of all the victims found on the capsized fishing boat would be transported to the Busan seaport in South Korea, Dec 7 for further identification, according to the statement.

The identification process would be conducted by matching the DNA data that consisted of ante mortem and post mortem materials.

The owner of the capsized vessel, Sajoo industry, has pledged commitment to finance the whole process and help return the victims' bodies to their families, the statement added.

Thirty-five Indonesians were aboard the South Korean vessel "Oryong 501" that capsized in Russian waters Monday. Eleven South Koreans, 13 Filipinos and one Russian inspector were also onboard the fishing ship.

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