Korean Coast Guard to be Broken Up

Posted by George Backwell
Monday, May 19, 2014
Wreck buoy: File image

South Korean President Park Geun-hye formally apologized on Monday for a ferry disaster last month that killed about 300 passengers, mostly school children, and said she would break up the coast guard because it had failed in its rescue mission.

Park has been hit hard by an angry nation-wide outcry over the government's response to South Korea's worst civilian maritime disaster in 20 years and the seemingly slow and ineffective rescue operation.

Polls show support for Park has dropped by more than 20 points since the April 16 disaster.

"I apologize to the nation for the pain and suffering that everyone felt, as the president who should have been responsible for the safety and lives of the people," Park said in a televised national address, her first since the Sewol capsized and sank with 476 passengers and crew on board.

At least 286 people were killed and 18 remain missing. Only 172 people were rescued, with the rest presumed to have drowned.

Of the passengers, 339 were children and their teachers on a field trip from a high school on the outskirts of Seoul. Park fought back sobs as she remembered some of the teenagers who perished while trying to help each other.

She vowed sweeping reforms to improve oversight, as well as tough punishment for bureaucrats and businesses whose negligence endangers public safety.

"A 20-year-old vessel was bought and refurbished to add excessive capacity, then it was loaded with much more cargo than allowed with a false reporting on weight, but not a single person in the position to supervise stopped any of it," Park said.

She singled out structural problems within the coast guard as the main reason why there was such a high casualty toll from an accident that played out on national television as the vessel gradually sank with most of the passengers trapped inside.

"Had there been an immediate and proactive rescue operation after the accident, we would have been able to reduce the casualties," Park said.

The coast guard's rescue duties will be transferred to a national emergency safety agency to be set up and the national police will take over its investigative function, she said.

(By Jack Kim)

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter July 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

No Clues on Hanjin's Financial Health

Cash-strapped Hanjin Shipping Co. sources say that the negotiations with tonnage providers for lower rates are undergoing, but wouldn't say much else.   According to Korea Herald, the country's No.

DP World's H1 Volumes Rise

Ports operator DP World reported on Tuesday first-half 2016 gross container volumes up 1.2 percent on a like-for-like basis and up 2.5 percent on a reported basis.

Samil PwC Okays Hyundai's Management Improvement Plan

Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) is notified by Samil PwC, a local member of the global accounting firm PwC, that its 3.5 trillion won worth management improvement

Casualties

Ship Hits Panama Canal

The Panama Canal authority  (ACP) says a Chinese container ship’s damaging scrape with the canal’s new wider locks was caused by bad weather, Reuter quotes  ACP's  administrator, Jorge Quijano.

Alaska Juris Sinks, 46 People Rescued

The Fishing Company of Alaska, based in Renton, owns the  238-foot  Alaska Juris that started sinking in the Bering Sea shortly before noon on Tuesday, says a report in Seattle Times.

Sunken Barge Impedes Waterway Traffic Near Galveston

A barge sank east of the Galveston Causeway railroad bridge Tuesday, causing the U.S. Coast Guard to issue a safety zone and temporarily restrict traffic on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.

Coast Guard

Alaska Juris Sinks, 46 People Rescued

The Fishing Company of Alaska, based in Renton, owns the  238-foot  Alaska Juris that started sinking in the Bering Sea shortly before noon on Tuesday, says a report in Seattle Times.

Sunken Barge Impedes Waterway Traffic Near Galveston

A barge sank east of the Galveston Causeway railroad bridge Tuesday, causing the U.S. Coast Guard to issue a safety zone and temporarily restrict traffic on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.

BMT to Lead Repower for Historic USCG Eagle

BMT Designers & Planners, a subsidiary of BMT Group, an international maritime design, engineering and risk management consultancy, is leading the effort to repower the historic U.

Government Update

Guzmán Re-elected Harbor Commission President, Long Beach Port

Harbor Commission President Lori Ann Guzmán was re-elected Monday evening to serve a second one-year term leading the board that oversees the Port of Long Beach, the nation’s second-busiest seaport.

China Asks U.S. to Support Resumption of Talks with Philippines

China's foreign minister has asked the U.S. secretary of state John Kerry to support the resumption of talks between China and the Philippines over the South China Sea,

China Joins UN Trucking Treaty

China has taken a major step towards establishing a speedy new "Silk Road" to Europe by signing up to a U.N. trucking treaty.   Fifteen years after joining the World Trade Organization (WTO),

Ferries

New Ferry MV Woods Hole Delivered

The newly built ferry M/V Woods Hole has been delivered to serve Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.   Built by Conrad Industries of Morgan City, La.

Wärtsilä Environmental Efficiency for Hybrid UK Ferry

A new ferry being built at the Cemre shipyard in Turkey for UK operator Wightlink will feature a comprehensive range of modern Wärtsilä equipment and systems to

Finland's Wartsila Sticks to 2016 Outlook

Finnish ship engine and power plant maker Wartsila reported weaker-than-expected quarterly profit and order intake on Wednesday. Wartsila cited tight competition

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Repair Ship Simulators Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.0958 sec (10 req/sec)