MILITARY

South Korea to take over on-scene control of search efforts following fishing disaster

  • Rear Adm. Dan Abel, commander of the U.S. Coast Guard in Alaska, speaks with reporters on Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014, in Juneau, Alaska, about the agency response to a South Korean fishing vessel that sank in the western Bering Sea. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)

    Rear Adm. Dan Abel, commander of the U.S. Coast Guard in Alaska, speaks with reporters on Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014, in Juneau, Alaska, about the agency response to a South Korean fishing vessel that sank in the western Bering Sea. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this undated file photo, South Korean fishing boat Oryong 501 is seen in a port. The Coast Guard in Alaska held a news  conference Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014, to discuss its involvement in the sinking of the South Korean fishing ship Oryong 501. More than 50 crew members went missing when the ship sank in the Bering Strait, between Alaska and Russia, on Dec. 1. Less than 20 bodies have been recovered after the ship went down on the Russian side of the straight. (AP Photto/Yonhap, File) KOREA OUT

    FILE - In this undated file photo, South Korean fishing boat Oryong 501 is seen in a port. The Coast Guard in Alaska held a news conference Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014, to discuss its involvement in the sinking of the South Korean fishing ship Oryong 501. More than 50 crew members went missing when the ship sank in the Bering Strait, between Alaska and Russia, on Dec. 1. Less than 20 bodies have been recovered after the ship went down on the Russian side of the straight. (AP Photto/Yonhap, File) KOREA OUT  (The Associated Press)

South Korean officials are expected to take over on-scene control of search efforts following the deadly sinking of a fishing vessel in the western Bering Sea last month.

The U.S. Coast Guard has been overseeing the effort. Rear Adm. Dan Abel said with the scheduled arrival of the South Korean vessel Sambong this weekend, the Coast Guard plans to take on a role of search and rescue planning.

Seven people survived the sinking of the Oryong 501, which occurred in Russian waters. Abel said the remains of 27 people have been recovered. Another 26 remain unaccounted for, he said.

The commander of the Coast Guard in Alaska said two South Korean aircraft have been based out of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage as part of the response.