Body Of Korean Boy Who Raised Alarm On Sinking Ferry Found

Posted by Joseph R. Fonseca
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Salvage operation

 

The body of a South Korean boy whose shaking voice first raised the alarm that a passenger ferry with hundreds on board was in trouble has been found, his parents believe, but a DNA test has yet to confirm the find, media said on Thursday.

His parents had checked his body and clothes and concluded he was their son, the Yonhap news agency said. The crew had told the children to stay put as the ferry sank.

The Sewol sank on April 16 on a routine trip from the port of Incheon, near Seoul, to the southern holiday island of Jeju. Investigations are focused on human error or a mechanical fault, with media saying the ship was three times overloaded, with cargo poorly stowed and inadequate ballast water.

Captain Lee Joon-seok, 69, and other crew members who abandoned ship have been arrested on negligence charges. Lee was also charged with undertaking an "excessive change of course without slowing down".

Of the 476 passengers and crew on board, 339 were children and teachers on a high school outing. Only 174 people were rescued and the remainder are presumed to have drowned.

The confirmed death toll on Thursday was 159, with many of those found at the back of the ship on the fourth deck.

The first distress call from the sinking vessel was made by a boy with a shaking voice, three minutes after the vessel made its fateful last turn, a fire service officer told Reuters.

He called the emergency 119 number which put him through to the fire service, which in turn forwarded him to the coastguard two minutes later. That was followed by about 20 other calls from children on board the ship to the emergency number.

"Save us! We're on a ship and I think it's sinking," Yonhap quoted the boy as saying.

The fire service official asked him to switch the phone to the captain, media said, and the boy replied: "Do you mean teacher?"

The pronunciation of the words for "captain" and "teacher" is similar in Korean.

Divers have been swimming through the dark, cold waters in the ferry, feeling for bodies with their hands.

"We are trained for hostile environments, but it's hard to be brave when we meet bodies in dark water," said diver Hwang Dae-sik.

Most of those who survived made it out on deck and jumped into rescue boats but many of the children did not leave their cabins, not questioning their elders as is customary in hierarchical Korean society. They paid for their obedience with their lives.

(Additional reporting by Meeyoung Cho; Writing by Nick Macfie; Editing by Paul Tait)

Maritime Reporter July 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Salvage

Search Suspended for Man Overboard near Cedar Bayou

The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search Tuesday for a man who went missing after his shrimp boat overturned Monday near Cedar Bayou on the Houston Ship Channel.

Oil Spills into Ohio River from Coal Plant

The U.S. Coast Guard closed a 15-mile stretch of the Ohio River on Tuesday after at least five thousand gallons of fuel oil spilled from a 60-year-old power plant owned by Duke Energy near Cincinnati,

Crews Searching Bahamas Waters for Downed Aircraft

U.S. Coast Guard search-and-rescue crews are responding to a reported downed Cessna aircraft with four people aboard in the vicinity of Freeport Bahamas Airport, Bahamas, Monday morning.

News

Shipping Industry Issues Ebola Virus Red Alert

Three global shipping organisations have issued guidance to their members on the risks posed to ships’ crews calling in countries affected by the Ebola virus, and

Port of Long Beach to the Rescue of Birds

The Port of Long Beach announced Tuesday that it is expanding its partnership with International Bird Rescue, a global expert in oiled wildlife emergencies and aquatic bird care,

Mærsk Putting Valuable Experience to Good Use

The Mærsk Deliverer rig team has initiated seven local acceleration programmes in Angola. The goal is to train and develop local talent to take on increasingly

Vessels

MV Cape Ray Signals DTRA 'Mission Complete'

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency announces the successful completion of the Cape Ray's mission to destroy Syria's chemical weapons components at sea. The Defense Threat Reduction Agency/U.

New Offshore Vessel Management Mobile App

Telerik says that its customer Bhagwan Marine, a leader in servicing the oil and gas industry, together with partner, Glenfield Digital Group, has released the

North Sea OSVs Liable to Detention if MLC Non-compliant

The Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), an international agreement which safeguards the employment rights, working conditions and health care of seafarers, came into force in the UK on 7 August.

People in the News

MV Cape Ray Signals DTRA 'Mission Complete'

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency announces the successful completion of the Cape Ray's mission to destroy Syria's chemical weapons components at sea. The Defense Threat Reduction Agency/U.

FMC Forum to Address US Port Congestion

U.S. Port Congestion: Examining Causes, Impact on Stakeholders and Exploring Possible Solutions Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) Chairman Mario Cordero will hold a forum titled, "U.

Statoil: Gudrun Officially Opened

Norwegian prime minister Erna Solberg officially opened the Gudrun platform in the North Sea today, 19 August. This is the first new Statoil-operated platform on

Communication

New Offshore Vessel Management Mobile App

Telerik says that its customer Bhagwan Marine, a leader in servicing the oil and gas industry, together with partner, Glenfield Digital Group, has released the

Blue Denmark in Focus

Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) has brought out new marketing material depicting their strong and open maritime cluster, focusing on quality shipping, health, safety and the environment.

Rune Olav Pedersen Takes Over Corporate Communications in PGS

PGS' General Counsel Rune Olav Pedersen's role is expanded to also include the following departments from Corporate communications; investor relations (IR), internal and external communications,

Ferries

Liquiline to Construct Denmark's First LNG Bunker Terminal

Liquiline says it has entered into a contract with Fjord Line to design, construct and commission an LNG ship bunkering terminal for Fjord Line AS at the Port of Hirtshals, Denmark.

WSF Engineers Work 24/7 on Engine Repairs

Overnight engine repairs and a meeting with Ferry Advisory Committee executives are detailed In this excerpt from the latest 'Washington State Ferries Weekly Update', by Capt.

Brazilian Ferry Launched

AFAI Southern Shipyard and CoCo Yachts Holland announced that the first Urban Sprinter 2000, yard number ASA 042, was launched August 14, 2014. The Urban Sprinter

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | 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: 0.1000 sec (10 req/sec)