News / Asia

Wrenching Video Scenes Show S. Korean Students as Ferry Sinks

Related Video Report of Sinking Ferryi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
May 01, 2014 5:31 PM
VIDEO: Footage shows the last moments of young passengers as the South Korean ferry Sewol capsizes

VIDEO: Footage shows the last moments of young passengers as the South Korean ferry Sewol capsizes (courtesy of Associated Press).

VOA News
Soon after the ferry begins to tilt, nervous laughter can be heard from the high school students huddled below deck. In video clips from the cellphone of a victim of a disaster that has shaken South Korea, the teenagers talk of taking selfies, wonder if they'll make the news and discuss posting on Facebook.

The fear in the cabin builds as the listing becomes worse. Some say they feel dizzy, that their legs are shaking. One student can be seen walking with his hands braced against the wall for balance.
 
"Am I really going to die?'' a student asks at 8:53 a.m. April 16, less than two minutes into the video and two minutes before a crew member on the bridge made the ferry's first distress call.

 
Maritime police search for missing passengers in front of the South Korean ferry "Sewol" which sank at the sea off Jindo April 16, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Hong-JiMaritime police search for missing passengers in front of the South Korean ferry "Sewol" which sank at the sea off Jindo April 16, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
x
Maritime police search for missing passengers in front of the South Korean ferry "Sewol" which sank at the sea off Jindo April 16, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
Maritime police search for missing passengers in front of the South Korean ferry "Sewol" which sank at the sea off Jindo April 16, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
The Sewol ferry sank on a routine trip south from the port of Incheon to the traditional holiday island of Jeju. More than 300 people, most of them students and teachers on a field trip from the Danwon High School on the outskirts of Seoul, have died or are missing and presumed dead.
 
The confirmed death toll from the ferry disaster on Thursday stood at 213 with about 90 people still unaccounted for.
 
Footage provided by Newstapa, a website run by Korea Center for Investigative Journalism, contains a conversation between students on board describing the moment of sinking.
 
“The ship is leaning! Yo, help me!''
 
“It's leaning this way. I can't move.''
 
“Nonsense. I want to get off. I mean it.''
 
“Why are you getting your life jacket? You're stupid. We don't want to die. We don't want to die.''
 
Passengers were directed to hold their positions, not to evacuate.
 
“Do not move from your current location,'' an unidentified crew member said through loudspeaker.
 
Some students did not take it seriously and sang a theme song from the movie “Titanic.”
 
Another student left a last message to parents.
 
“Please if only I could live. Mom, Dad, I love you.''
 
The shaky video was on the cellphone of a 17-year-old student, Park Su-hyeon, when rescuers recovered his body. The boy's father provided it Thursday to The Associated Press, saying he wanted to show the world the ship's condition as it sank. Park Jong-dae, the boy's father, earlier released it to select South Korean media.

Only one can be seen wearing a life jacket at the beginning of the video clips, which start at 8:52 a.m. and end, with a small break between them, at 9:09, when everyone appears to be wearing them.
 
In the video, some of the students struggle to buckle their life jackets. As the ferry lists, they joke about “final commemorative pictures” and “defying gravity” by trying to walk on the walls.
 
At the beginning of the video, a message blasts from the ship's loudspeakers: “Don't move away from your places and brace for any possible accidents.''
 
In subsequent announcements, passengers are again told to stay put, even as some students question whether they should flee. The last message from the bridge comes at 9:08: “We're again announcing: For passengers who can wear life vests, please wear them now. Never move away from your places.''
 
That warning came eight minutes after a Sewol crew member told a marine traffic official, “The body of the ship has tilted, and it's impossible to move,” according to a transcript.
 
After the bridge ordered passengers to stay in their cabins, Capt. Lee Joon-seok took at least half an hour to order an evacuation. It is unclear whether that order was ever relayed to passengers. Lee has said he delayed evacuation because of worries about sending passengers into cold waters and fast currents before rescuers arrived.
 
Lee can be seen in a separate video released by the coast guard leaping from the ferry in his underwear onto a rescue boat while many passengers were still in the sinking ship.
 
The captain and 14 others responsible for the ferry's navigation have been detained on suspicion of negligence and abandoning people in need. Prosecutors are investigating whether stability issues related to too much cargo or a redesign that added more cabins to the ship contributed to the sinking.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AP.

You May Like

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Kit from: Australia
May 02, 2014 11:57 PM
Get a grip, it's not 'murder' to any rationally minded person on the planet, however it is a horrendous and tragic outcome resulting from lack of safety planning drills etc on behalf of the company and most of the crew. The captain shld have identified himself when the rescuers arrived and made it clear to them how many students were trapped, why were ropes dropped into the galleys to pull kids out and windows smashed from the outside to get them out?? And you can't show the faces of the poor kids, who wants to happen across the last dying moments of their son or daughter, the kids videod are not necessarily the ones doing the filming, so you can see how a family member could unwittingly be exposed to traumatising footage, also the families need some privacy, these kids don't belong to the world now, they still belong to their families, no one else.


by: Joshua from: California
May 02, 2014 7:52 AM
This was clearly murder on the part of the crew. I don't know why they are censoring the faces of the dead though.

In Response

by: alvin a percy from: sacramento, calif
May 03, 2014 1:22 AM
clearly, the captain as well as the crew was at fault. the minute the ship tilted , orders or not that was the time to start bailing out. the captain and crew should not have hesitated for a second. till help arrived in minutes the ocean is the best place instead of the ferry,

In Response

by: Emily from: Windsor, ON
May 02, 2014 12:53 PM
I just said that to my boyfriend a few minutes ago.


by: abdulai kargbo from: freetown,sierra leone
May 01, 2014 3:27 PM
I wish to express my sympathy to the families of the school children who lost their lives.


by: Menis from: Ny
May 01, 2014 2:25 PM
The captain abandoned the ship and the passengers so he committed a very serious crime and must be tried and EXECUTED!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid