News / Asia

Search Continues for Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks

South Korea Continues Search for Survivors of Sunken Ferryi
X
April 17, 2014 4:14 AM
South Korea continues desperate efforts to save some 300 people still missing a day after a ferry carrying about 470 passengers sank off the country's southwestern coast. Most of the passengers were high school students and their teachers on an excursion. At least six people have been confirmed dead so far, and about 180 have been plucked from the sunken vessel or the waters around it. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Watch related video report from VOA's Zlatica Hoke.
VOA News
South Korean divers resumed searching Thursday for 282 people - many of them teenagers - missing nearly 24 hours after an ocean-going ferry capsized near an island off the South Korean coast.
Rescue boats sail around the South Korean passenger ship Rescue boats sail around the South Korean passenger ship "Sewol" which sank, during their rescue operation in the sea off Jindo, April 17, 2014.
x
Rescue boats sail around the South Korean passenger ship
Rescue boats sail around the South Korean passenger ship "Sewol" which sank, during their rescue operation in the sea off Jindo, April 17, 2014.
Coast guard officials say 25 people were confirmed dead by early Thursday, and that 179 others had been rescued.  

Authorities warn the death toll could rise sharply as rescuers probe the wreckage in waters 32 meters deep.  Officials reported water temperature at just over 12 degrees Celsius - a temperature cold enough to cause hypothermia in a matter of hours.  

Dozens of helicopters and ships are involved in the search and rescue effort, and a U.S. naval amphibious assault ship remained on standby to provide support if requested.
 
  • South Korean Coast Guard officers try to rescue missing passengers from a sunken ferry in the water off the southern coast near Jindo, South Korea, April 17, 2014. 
  • Family members of missing children gather at a gymnasium in Jindo, South Korea, April 17, 2014.
  • Relatives of passengers board a South Korean Coast Guard boat to go to the scene of the rescue area, Jindo, South Korea, April 17, 2014. 
  • Mothers of the missing children that were aboard the sunken ferry listen to South Korean President Park Geun-hye speak, Jindo, South Korea, April 17, 2014.
  • A TV cameraman films weeping relatives of the missing passengers from the sunken ferry, Sewol, at a port in Jindo, South Korea, April 17, 2014. 
  • An official on a Coast Guard ship points at a radar display of the area where the ferry sank off the southern coast near Jindo, South Korea, April 17, 2014. 
  • The South Korean ferry "Sewol" is seen sinking in the sea off Jindo, South Korea, April 16, 2014.
  • This image made from video from the South Korean Coast Guard shows a passenger of a ferry sinking off South Korea's southern coast being hoisted onto a Coast Guard helicopter off the southern coast near Jindo, April 16, 2014.
  • This image made from video from the South Korean Coast Guard shows a rescue worker helps people climb onto a side of a ferry sinking off South Korea's southern coast, April 16, 2014.
  • Rescued passengers cry at a gym where rescued passengers gather in Jindo, South Korea, April 16, 2014.
  • The mother of a passenger who was on a sinking ferry reacts as she finds her son's name in the survivors list at a gym where rescued passengers gather in Jindo, South Korea, April 16, 2014.
  • Helicopters fly toward the sinking ferry that was on its way to Jeju island from Incheon, April 16, 2014.
  • People watch a TV news program showing the sinking ferry, at Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, April 16, 2014.

South Korea Minister of Security and Public Administration Kang Byung-kyu said floating cranes will attempt to lift the almost completely submerged boat out of the water.

"A total of 555 divers were mobilized for search operations and three cranes departed [for the accident area] last night. One crane will arrive tomorrow morning and two will arrive at night," said Byung-kyu.
This image made from video from the South Korean Coast Guard shows a passenger of a ferry sinking off South Korea's southern coast being hoisted onto a Coast Guard helicopter off the southern coast near Jindo, April 16, 2014.This image made from video from the South Korean Coast Guard shows a passenger of a ferry sinking off South Korea's southern coast being hoisted onto a Coast Guard helicopter off the southern coast near Jindo, April 16, 2014.
x
This image made from video from the South Korean Coast Guard shows a passenger of a ferry sinking off South Korea's southern coast being hoisted onto a Coast Guard helicopter off the southern coast near Jindo, April 16, 2014.
This image made from video from the South Korean Coast Guard shows a passenger of a ferry sinking off South Korea's southern coast being hoisted onto a Coast Guard helicopter off the southern coast near Jindo, April 16, 2014.
The 6,825-ton ferry Sewol departed from the port of Incheon, west of Seoul, Tuesday night for the island of Jeju, some 100 kilometers off the southwest coast.  The vessel was also carrying about 150 cars and trucks.

Authorities have not established the cause of the sinking.  But some survivors reported hearing a loud impact noise before the vessel rolled onto its side and began sinking.

Many passengers said they were initially told to stay in their seats and not try to escape, a development that outraged many families of those missing.

Kim Young-bung, the head of the Chonghaejin Marine Company that operated the ferry, on Thursday apologized for the disaster.

"We deeply apologized to the families and I'm saying again that we're really sorry. Our company will promise that we'll do our best not to lose any more lives. We're sorry," said Young-bung.

Among the passengers were 325 students from a high school near Seoul, traveling to the popular resort island for a four-day field trip and sightseeing.

Heavy fog was reported in the area on Tuesday evening, but it is not known whether it contributed to the sinking.

You May Like

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

US Urges Taliban to Stay With Afghan Peace Talks

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: bo from: alabama
April 18, 2014 3:14 PM
would someone explain why rescuers cant cut a hole in side or bottom of boat, part that is out of the water, instead of trying to dive under water to get in. seems like such a common sense approach. but im just ordinary concerned parent without rescue experience. just wondering
In Response

by: Chris from: California
April 18, 2014 8:38 PM
Firstly they would most likely be cutting into the fuel reserves between the ships internal hulls. If they cut a hole in the hull, the water pressure would be able to force the air that is still trapped out and the ship would sink. The fact that there isn't a hole in the hull is the only reason it's still floating.

by: Samurai from: Japan
April 18, 2014 2:39 AM
Let me express sinsere condolances to the casualties.
Why does the S. Korean government refuse Japanese government's offer to send better-trained rescue staff and ships? S. Korean leader's poor policy and arrogant attitude have again broken the good relation between the two countries' nationals.

by: MC_VoA from: Puerto Rico
April 17, 2014 4:57 PM
I know hindsight is 20/20. I still want to know why they could not close the opened windows and pump the vessel with air, warm air preferably, so that the remaining passengers could not just breath air but they could also be dry while divers rescued them? The inverted vessel sank fast but not completely so they could have pumped air like crazy unto it.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs