Korean maritime cops beaten with metal pipes

These Chinese fishermen are apparently a rough crowd. According to Incheon Maritime Police Station on Thursday, one of its officers was severely wounded as he and other officers tried to seize two Chinese fishing boats illegally trawling in Korea’s EEZ.

The incident started when the two boats crossed 1.5 miles into Korea’s EEZ, 27 miles west of Baengnyeong Island on Tuesday. A 500-ton Korean maritime police patrol boat began seizure operations in response, with 12 officers boarding small boats to approach the offending trawlers. Six officers were able to win control of one of the vessels, but when the remaining six boarded and attempted to seize control of the other boat, its 18 Chinese crew members broke out the metal pipes to resist. They bashed 47-year-old Sergent Choe Ik-su in the face and dumped him overboard, and three other officers received facial wounds when they were struck with pipes.

Anyway, when Choe went in the water, the other five officers on the vessel disengaged to jump in after him. The six officers who had seized got in their small boat to pull them out. In the meantime, the two Chinese vessels escaped.

Maritime police dispatched six patrol boats to the scene of the incident and later seized three suspect fishing boats between Incheon and Tae’an. The boats were brought back to Incheon.

Police have decided to flood the sea areas frequented by illegal fishermen with patrol boats and helicopters. Fishing boats interfering with the crackdown will be seized by maritime police SWAT units.