26 Dec 2010

Chinese fishermen released by Korea

10:06 am on 26 December 2010

South Korea has released three Chinese fishermen following a fatal clash between their trawler and a South Korean patrol ship earlier this month.

Seoul says the incident happened in the Yellow Sea when coastguards tried to prevent Chinese boats from fishing illegally off South Korea's west coast.

It said the trawler intentionally struck the patrol ship to allow others to sail back into their waters - but the boat sank after the impact.

One fisherman died and our South Korean coast guards were wounded as the Chinese fishermen attacked them with metal bars. Two Chinese crewmen were killed.

Illegal fishing by Chinese vessels is common in South Korean waters.

The coastguard said 332 Chinese boats were caught last year.