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May 24, 2017

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5 dead after South Korea coast guard ship capsizes

SEOUL -- Five foreign sailors died Thursday when a South Korean coast guard boat capsized after rescuing them from a holed Malaysia-registered cargo ship, officials said.

The boat overturned while carrying 15 crew members rescued from the 5,436-tonne Shinline freighter near the southern island of Jeju, a coast guard spokesman said.

All the coast guard officers and 10 of the freighter's crew were rescued unhurt by another coast guard vessel involved in the operation, but five perished in the incident, the spokesman said.

The freighter, with a total of 13 Chinese and six Philippine crew members, radioed for help after the ship — en route to Singapore — started taking on water.

"Of two coast guard boats involved in the operation, one overturned because of high waves," the spokesman said, adding that the rescued sailors and coast guard officers were taken to a hospital in Jeju.

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