Black Dragon

  The Black Dragon, also known as Hueg Ryong Pusan No. 705 was a Korean freezer/packer vessel used for drift-net fishing out of China. Mixed reports put the length of the boat at approximately 130 feet, with the width at 22 feet, and it displaced 184 tons. The owner of the decrepit vessel at the time it gained notoriety in 1999 was Captain Chong-Um Kim. 

   On August 11, 1999 Captain Chong-Um Kim dumped his cargo of 130+ immigrants near an uninhabited Kunghit Island in the Queen Charlottes. While the Fujian immigrants were forced to swim ashore in the frigid waters, Kim attempted to out run the Canadian Coast Guard to the 12 mile limit to international waters. He was hailed by a Department of National Defense aircraft to heave to, at which time he surrendered.

   Kim and his 8 “crew-members” were taken into custody later claiming that the boat was hijacked by Chinese smugglers called “Snakeheads” and that he was forced to take the immigrants to Canada. Kim stated to the authorities that he was told if he didn’t cooperate with the Snakeheads, they were going to kill his family. The crew-members were later acquitted. Of the 130+ immigrants a few had hypothermia, four went missing on the island (later found) and one was unaccounted for and presumed dead.


   The federal government gained control of the Black Dragon, then sold it in the year 2000 to the Port Alberni Artificial Reef Society for one dollar. It was to be sunk along with the other 3 immigrant boats that arrived to Canada from July to September 1999. The Dragon was set aside because it was the only one that was in fairly good shape, while the others were immediately cleaned in preparation for sinking.

   Later, the Black Dragon was sold off, probably because of lack of funding for cleanup, to Guy and Chuck Polkinghorne for a dollar. The brothers illegally moored the vessel in Mayne Bay where it sank once in November 2003 in 120 feet of water. It was raised out of 20 feet of mud on December 7, 2003 and the brothers decided to have it towed to a salvage yard in Ladysmith B.C.

   On December 9, 2003, in tow to Ladysmith, the Black Dragon took on water and sank quickly off Cordova Point near Sydney in 150 feet of water.


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