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

News

Container Volumes on the Rise in South Carolina

Container volume up 13 percent at South Carolina Ports Authority; Charleston benefiting from federal appropriations    The SC Ports Authority announced another

NASSCO Opens New Facility for Naval Repair

General Dynamics NASSCO opened a new location yesterday in Bremerton, Wash. to support the company’s recently-awarded contract to repair and maintain U.S. Navy

Obama Urged to Help Resolve Port Negotiations

In a letter today to President Barack Obama, the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) urged the president to take the necessary steps to assign federal

Vessels

Damen Delivers Survey Vessel to Fugro

Fugro Frontier is the third vessel in a series received by Fugro during 2014   Three months after its last delivery, Fugro has received the third of a series

Becker Marine Delivers Rudder for Largest Containership

Becker Marine Systems delivers rudder for the largest container ship in the world   At 19,000 TEU, the largest container ship in the world is now picking up speed

Rig Moves: Mobilized for Performance

The operation of an oil field involves moving rigs or jackups in a maneuver referred to as a rig move. These complex operations require experience and the coordination of all stakeholders.

People in the News

Obama Urged to Help Resolve Port Negotiations

In a letter today to President Barack Obama, the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) urged the president to take the necessary steps to assign federal

USCG Commandant to Address PVA Convention

Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Paul F. Zukunft will attend the PVA Annual Convention at MariTrends 2015 in Long Beach, Calif. and deliver a keynote

Maersk: Rate Hike Under Pressure on Low Demand

Container shipping firm Maersk Line said a fresh attempt made on Monday to raise freight rates on main routes from ports in Asia to those in northern Europe was

Communication

Maritime Reporter @ 75: The Daily Cartoon

Maritime Reporter & Engineering News was founded by John J. O'Malley (1905-1980) in 1939, and today ranks as the world's largest audited trade publication in the world serving the maritime industry,

DONG Energy Appoints CEO for E&P

Søren Gath Hansen will step down as Group Executive Vice President and CEO for E&P. His successor is David B. Cook who comes from a position as Executive Officer

Northrop Grumman, Carisbrooke Renew Service Contract

Northrop Grumman Corporation has renewed its service agreement with U.K.-based Carisbrooke Shipping Limited.   The contract will cover spares and labor for navigation systems,

Ferries

Ferry Capsizing Kills at Least 129 in Congo

At least 129 people are dead in the Democratic Republic of Congo after an overcrowded vessel sank on Lake Tanganyika in the early hours of Friday morning.   According to Laurent Kahozi Sumba,

Maritime Reporter @ 75: The Daily Cartoon

Maritime Reporter & Engineering News was founded by John J. O'Malley (1905-1980) in 1939, and today ranks as the world's largest audited trade publication in the world serving the maritime industry,

Tallink, Meyer Turku Ink LOI for New LNG Fast Ferry

The trend toward the procurement of high-spec, environmentally friendly vessels continues with news that AS Tallink Grupp and Meyer Turku Oy signed a Letter of

 
 
Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Salvage Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
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: 0.3016 sec (3 req/sec)