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 August 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Casualties

Iranian Ship, Crew Escape Captivity off Somali Coast

An Iranian fishing vessel and its crew have escaped after being held captive for five months by Somali fishermen, maritime piracy experts said on Friday, but it

Migrant Boat Sinks off Libya; 200 Feared Dead

A boat packed with mainly African migrants bound for Italy sank off the Libyan coast on Thursday and officials said up to 200 might have died. A security official in the western town of Zuwara,

USN Observes Suicide Prevention Month

While September is Suicide Prevention Month, subject matter experts from the 21st Century Sailor Office's Suicide Prevention Office, OPNAV N171, say their goal

News

Man Earns Jail Time for Hoax Coast Guard Calls

A man found guilty of making numerous hoax calls to the U.K. Coastguard has been jailed for four months, the U.K. Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) reported.

Panama Canal Suspends Draft Restriction

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has lifted scheduled vessel draft restrictions brought on by lingering draught conditions in the region.   The ACP had previously set restrictions of 11.

Med Crude-Russian Urals Edges Lower in Med, Baltic

Russian Urals crude weakened in the Mediterranean and in the Baltic on Friday, while trading activity was limited ahead of a long holiday weekend in Britain, traders said.

Vessels

MN 100: Bouchard Transportation

The Company: Bouchard Transportation’s history dates back to its incorporation in 1918 by founder, Capt. Fred Bouchard, the youngest tugboat captain in the Port of New York.

Three More Workboats for Jordan

Sanmar Shipyards delivered three more vessels to the Aqaba Port Marine Services Company (APMSCO) for the Sheikh Subah Al Ahmad Al Subah LNG terminal at Aqaba, Jordan.

ASL Shipyard Secures S$140mln Build Contracts

ASL Shipyard Pte Ltd. a wholly-owned subsidiary of ASL Marine Holdings Ltd., has secured new shipbuilding contracts worth approximately S$140 million for the construction

People in the News

Man Earns Jail Time for Hoax Coast Guard Calls

A man found guilty of making numerous hoax calls to the U.K. Coastguard has been jailed for four months, the U.K. Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) reported.

The Maritime Person of the Year

The Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s annual salute to ‘the person of the year’ this year spotlights McAllister Towing and Transportation Co. and its leadership team.

Migrant Boat Sinks off Libya; 200 Feared Dead

A boat packed with mainly African migrants bound for Italy sank off the Libyan coast on Thursday and officials said up to 200 might have died. A security official in the western town of Zuwara,

Communication

Western Cape Ports Now 'smartPORTS'

The Ports of Cape Town and Saldanha became the latest to go live with Transnet National Ports Authority’s new R79 million web-based Integrated Port Management System (IPMS),

Mariners Dread Port Calls

Seafarer social media site Crewtoo, part of KVH Industries, Inc., has published the results of its second Crewtoo Seafarers Happiness Index report detailing job satisfaction at sea.

Cyber Security & the Challenge to Maritime Networks

“Look at me: I am the Captain now.” In the film “Captain Phillips,” a boarding Somali pirate’s statement represents a maritime operator’s worst fear: losing control of his vessel, cargo and crew.

Ferries

Wärtsilä Scrubbers for Finnlines Vessels

Finnlines, a Ro-Ro and passenger vessel operator with services in the North and Baltic Seas, has contracted Wärtsilä to supply three vessels with exhaust cleaning scrubber systems.

MN 100: Blount Boats, Inc.

The Company: Over time, the Blount shipyard has built 363 vessels, including such iconic designs as the 130-foot, 600-passenger Miss Liberty. Built in 1952, the

USCG Plans to Up Passenger Boat Enforcement

Coast Guard to step up enforcement of passenger boats along Florida’s coast, reminds passengers to “Ask the Captain”   The U.S. Coast Guard and partner agencies

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Naval Architecture Navigation Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Sonar Winch
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: 2.7401 sec (0 req/sec)