TAEAN, South Korea — The U.S. military community donated $17,000 Wednesday to victims of South Korea’s worst-ever oil spill.
Officials from U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan visited the Taean county mayor’s office to donate the money, which was collected recently at chapel services at Yongsan Garrison and USAG-Red Cloud.
About 10,500 tons of oil poured into waters off the country’s west coast Dec. 7, when a barge collided with the Hong Kong-registered supertanker Hebei Spirit.
USAGY Command Sgt. Maj. Diane Foster said the $17,000 donation — more than 14.5 million won from Yongsan and 1.3 million won from Red Cloud — will be used to help those whose livelihoods were affected by the spill.
“Incomes were wiped out or drastically reduced,” she said. “The money will go directly to the people suffering.”
“God tells us to care about all people, and we certainly care about the Korean people,” USAGY command chaplain Lt. Col. James King told Taean vice mayor Suh Duk-chul. “God created the world in which we live. So we care not only about the people but the environment in which we live.”
Suh showed the visitors a video that explained the spill damaged 367 fisheries, 15 beaches and 2,643 tourist-dependent businesses.
In response to the Dec. 7 oil spill off South Korea’s west coast, members of U.S. Forces Korea have contributed:
$17,000 in donations536 volunteer clean-up workers21,000 man hours$16,215 from Good Neighbor Program contributors for clean-up materials, transportation and protective equipment5,000 miles traveled to and from cleanup sitesSource: 8th Army Civil Affairs