ZIM Shipping Services ship in Asia.
ZIM Shipping Services ship in Asia. Photo by Itzik Ben Malki
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South Korean port authorities said on Tuesday they were investigating suspicions that a cargo ship owned by Israeli company ZIM Integrated Shipping Services hit a Chinese fishing boat overnight near the country's southern coast.

According to communication between the South Korean port authorities and their counterparts in China, nine people were considered missing and one fisherman on the boat was injured.

Ofer Maritime spokesman said in response that the ship Shekou was returning to S. Korean port Busan from the Chinese port in Qingdao on Monday night when the ship's captain reported that they might have hit a boat.

The captain apparently turned the ship in the direction of the possible accident, and tried to contact the boat, to no avail and he did not notice any unusual occurrences.

With day light the authorities noticed an overturned boat in the waters near the South Korean port.

Ofer Maritime, who owns ZIM, said that though it is not yet conclusive that the ZIM ship indeed hit the Chinese boat, there is a possibility that it did.

The spokesman stressed that if indeed the ZIM ship hit the Chinese boat, the company expresses deep sorrow for the human tragedy.