Diver Dies in Korean Ferry Shipwreck Search

Posted by George Backwell
Tuesday, May 06, 2014
Capsized 'Sewol': Image Korea Coast Guard

A diver lost consciousness and died on Tuesday during the search operation for victims still missing after last month's South Korean ferry disaster.

The diver had lost radio contact five minutes after diving to fix guideline ropes on the fifth deck of the sunken ferry, according to Ko Myung-seok, spokesman for the government's emergency task force.

He was unable to breathe by himself when he was brought to the surface, and his death was later confirmed at a hospital.

The dead man had been working for Undine Marine Industries, the company brought in to lead search efforts on the Sewol ferry, which capsized and sank about 20 km (12 miles) off the southwest coast of South Korea on April 16 with 476 passengers and crew on board. The confirmed death toll is 263, with
39 still missing.

An investigation is ongoing and amid rising indignation over the government's handling of the disaster, President Park Geun-hye voiced criticism on Tuesday of the role played by the ferry operator and government officials.

"Safety rules that must be observed were not followed because of worldly desires and irresponsible acts that tolerated those injustices have resulted in death," she said during her address at a temple in Seoul on Tuesday to celebrate Buddha's birthday.


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