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 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
x
Maritime police search for missing passengers in front of the South Korean ferry
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

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book 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.
Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festivali
X
April 24, 2015 4:09 AM
Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Keeping Washington Airspace Safe Is Tall Order

Being the home of all three branches of the U.S. federal government makes Washington, D.C. the prime target for those who want to make their messages and ideas heard. Unfortunately, many of them choose to deliver them in unorthodox ways, including from the air, as a recent incident clearly showed involving a gyrocopter landing on the Capitol’s West Lawn. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.

VOA Blogs