A fishing boat capsized in the southwestern waters on Saturday, with three crewmen rescued and nine others missing.
According to the Mokpo Coast Guard, they received a report at 11:19 p.m. Saturday that the 24-ton vessel had overturned in waters 16-point-six kilometers west of Daebichi Island.
The uninhabited island lies some 20 kilometers from the southwestern county of Sinan.
Three of the 12 crewmen aboard the ill-fated vessel were rescued soon by a nearby merchant ship. The rescued crewmen are reportedly two South Koreans and one Indonesia.
The Coast Guard are conducting a search of the remaining nine crewmen, mobilizing 34 vessels, eight aircraft and all available resources.
On Sunday, President Yoon Suk Yeol ordered Interior Minister Lee Sang-min and Oceans Minister Cho Seung-hwan to visit the accident site to lead the search operation. Additionally, he gave Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup instructions to send Navy special forces to the scene to assist in the search and recovery of the missing crew members.