A boat carrying 15 people on a lake near the Samsu Power Station Dam and Reservoir in Hyesan, Yanggang Province, recently sunk and all those aboard have gone missing, according to a Daily NK source in the area.

“After departing from Hyesan toward Gapsan in the afternoon of July 10, everyone on the boat fell into the water,” a Yanggang Province-based source told Daily NK by phone on Monday.

“Those missing include 11 housewives, three middle-aged men, and one 9-year-old child,” he added.

According to the source, all those on the boat lived in Gapsan and had gone to Hyesan for business.

“Their families and others in the area are trying to find their bodies, but they haven’t succeeded yet,” he said.

Samsu Power Station Dam and Reservoir was completed in 2007 and is located on the southern side of Hyesan and east of Samsu County.

A massive lake was formed with the completion of the dam and locals have long used small boats to travel around the area.

Small boats travelling near the Samsu Power Station Dam. / Image: Google Earth

In fact, Daily NK has found what appear to be small boats travelling on the lake near the dam during a recent analysis of Google Earth satellite images taken of the area.

“It’s cheaper and quicker to move around by taking wooden boats on the lake,” the source said, adding, “Many people have used boats to get around, but then we had this unfortunate incident take place.”

The source said that the small, old wooden boat involved in the accident had too many people onboard and this may have been one of the main causes of what happened.

“The boat’s frame was old and its bottom just fell away,” he said, noting that the people onboard didn’t have any safety equipment (such as life vests) on, either.

“They’re saying that too many people were on a boat that should only carry – at maximum – 10 people,” he further reported, adding that the “merchants on board had all their belongings loaded up on the boat, too, so the boat just couldn’t handle it all.”

Please direct any comments or questions about this article to dailynkenglish@uni-media.net.

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Mun Dong Hui is one of Daily NK's full-time journalists. Please direct any questions about his articles to dailynkenglish@uni-media.net.