S.Korea Ferry Boss's Driver Turns Self In

Posted by Joseph Keefe
Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The driver of a South Korean businessman wanted over the sinking of a ferry that killed 304 people turned himself in on Tuesday, potentially unlocking the mystery of the businessman's final days after the country's worst maritime disaster in 44 years.

Prosecutors in the port city of Incheon said the driver, Yang Hoe-jung, turned himself in at their office, which is leading the investigation into the role of businessman Yoo Byung-un in the sinking of the ferry Sewol.

Yoo's body was found by a farmer in an orchard on June 12.

The structurally defective and heavily overloaded ferry capsized and sank on a routine journey on April 16, killing 304 people, 250 of them teenagers from the same school on a class field trip. Twelve of their teachers were also killed.

The driver was the last among a group of people close to Yoo who had been wanted for allegedly helping him elude South Korea's biggest manhunt.

Yang is thought by authorities to have been with Yoo, the head of a family that ran a network of companies that included the ferry operator, in the days before Yoo's body was found.

Police only identified the badly decomposed body as that of Yoo last week, although an autopsy and other extensive testing failed to indicate how he died or came to be in the orchard, forensic experts have said.

Yoo was accused of various wrongdoing including embezzlement and negligence that prosecutors believe led to the ferry disaster.

A reward of 500 million won ($488,000) had been posted for information leading to his arrest, the largest possible amount under South Korean criminal law.

Yoo's wife, brother and oldest son have been arrested but his younger son, Yoo Hyuck-ki, remains at large and is believed to be in the United States.

A senior prosecutor has said efforts have been made to work with U.S. authorities to capture Yoo Hyuck-ki, who was considered Yoo's heir-apparent.

RESCUE EFFORT


The trial of 15 surviving crew members on Tuesday continued to hear testimony from some of the 75 teenagers who survived the disaster. They spoke of the heroic leadership of a classmate amid the chaos, rather than that of the crew or coastguard.

"Some boy came around handing out (life vests)," one student told the Gwangju district court, which has moved temporarily to Ansan, south of Seoul, to accommodate the students.

"We were in the hallway, and someone asked, 'Who is willing to go up in the helicopter?' and we raised our hands and went," she said. "Some boy asked, the boy with the life vests."

Two helicopters pressed into the rescue effort were able to take off a few passengers who climbed on to the starboard side of the listing vessel.

The boy who handed out life jackets later took the witness stand to offer a dramatic account of efforts to escape the ship which had listed too sharply by the time the helicopters arrived for some of the students to climb out of a hallway to safety.

"We tied rope made out of curtains lowered from above around the girls who were willing to go, but it broke in the middle so we grabbed the hose from the fire hydrant ... and raised them one by one," he said.

The court has ordered the students' names withheld.

The crew face charges ranging from homicide to negligence for abandoning the ship after telling passengers, including the students, to remain in their cabins.

Some of the surviving children who testified on Monday said there was little help from coastguard rescuers who arrived as they scrambled out of the sinking ferry, with many classmates still trapped inside.

Others testifying on Tuesday painted a similar scene of students helping one another as the ferry listed sharply and passengers and equipment were thrown around inside cabins, while the crew repeated orders for them to stay put.

"Afterwards at the hospital, we met a grown-up passenger, who said the students obeyed the announcement like fools, while other people broke the windows to get out," one student said. ($1=1,025.2000 won)


By Ju-min Park

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

People & Company News

BP Freezes Pay in 2015 to Cut Costs

BP is freezing base pay across the group this year, the latest in a series of steps by oil majors to cut costs in response to sinking oil prices.   Over the past year,

Metcalf to Succeed Cox at CSA Helm

Kathy J. Metcalf will assume the role of president and CEO of the Chamber of Shipping of America (CSA), succeeding Joseph J. Cox, who will retire on May 31, 2015,

InterMoor Completes Juniper Mooring Installation Contract

InterMoor has completed a mooring and foundation installation campaign for bpTT’s Juniper gas project offshore Trinidad and Tobago, reportedly the largest foundation

Passenger Vessels

26-year Jail Term Sought for Concordia Master

An Italian prosecutor asked a court on Monday to sentence the captain of the Costa Concordia cruise liner to more than 26 years in jail for his role in the 2012 disaster that killed 32 people.

Fire Scare Aboard British Cruise Ship

The Boudicca, a Fred Olsen cruise liner, with more than 1,000 people on-board has been left without power off the coast of Morocco after an engine fire.  Passengers of the U.

Danish Pleasure Craft Safety Board Gets A New Head

From 1 February 2015 a new chairman will head the Danish Pleasure Craft Safety Board. The new incumbent is Jan Thorn, who is in his everyday work Director

News

Libya Forces Tanker Away from Supplying Rival Government

Libya's recognized government said it forced a tanker from delivering fuel to its rival administration, diverting the vessel to its own territory by threatening an air attack on it.

BP Freezes Pay in 2015 to Cut Costs

BP is freezing base pay across the group this year, the latest in a series of steps by oil majors to cut costs in response to sinking oil prices.   Over the past year,

Metcalf to Succeed Cox at CSA Helm

Kathy J. Metcalf will assume the role of president and CEO of the Chamber of Shipping of America (CSA), succeeding Joseph J. Cox, who will retire on May 31, 2015,

Coast Guard

26-year Jail Term Sought for Concordia Master

An Italian prosecutor asked a court on Monday to sentence the captain of the Costa Concordia cruise liner to more than 26 years in jail for his role in the 2012 disaster that killed 32 people.

Coast Guard Cutter William Trump Commissioned

The Coast Guard Cutter William Trump was commissioned during a ceremony at Coast Guard Sector Key West Saturday Jan. 24, 2015. The Trump is the 11th fast response cutter in the Coast Guard fleet.

CBP P-3 Crews Disrupt Drug Smuggling

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine agents and interagency partners disrupted two separate drug smuggling attempts off the coast of

Eye on the Navy

New Defense Cooperation with India

Today, on his historic visit to India, President Obama and Prime Minister Modi announced new, ground-breaking agreements on defense cooperation between India

USS Cole Conducts Change of Command

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67) conducted a change of command ceremony during a scheduled port visit in Piraeus, Greece, Jan.

Naval Air Forces Holds Change of Command

Commander, Naval Air Forces (CNAF) held a change of command ceremony aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) at Naval Air Station North Island Jan.

People in the News

Metcalf to Succeed Cox at CSA Helm

Kathy J. Metcalf will assume the role of president and CEO of the Chamber of Shipping of America (CSA), succeeding Joseph J. Cox, who will retire on May 31, 2015,

26-year Jail Term Sought for Concordia Master

An Italian prosecutor asked a court on Monday to sentence the captain of the Costa Concordia cruise liner to more than 26 years in jail for his role in the 2012 disaster that killed 32 people.

Boost for Offshore Wind Energy

As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan to create American jobs, develop domestic clean energy resources and cut carbon pollution, Secretary of the Interior

Government Update

Libya Forces Tanker Away from Supplying Rival Government

Libya's recognized government said it forced a tanker from delivering fuel to its rival administration, diverting the vessel to its own territory by threatening an air attack on it.

Metcalf to Succeed Cox at CSA Helm

Kathy J. Metcalf will assume the role of president and CEO of the Chamber of Shipping of America (CSA), succeeding Joseph J. Cox, who will retire on May 31, 2015,

Study Examines Impacts of Inland Waterway Investment

The National Waterways Foundation (NWF) has commissioned and released a two-year study to examine the U.S. inland waterways’ national economic return on investment

Ferries

Xunlong Shenzhen Orders Dutch-designed Ferry

CoCo Yachts B.V. inks contract with Xunlong Shenzhen Ferry Company for one Coastal Cruiser 300 Xunlong Shenzhen Ferry Company has ordered a Coastal Cruiser 300 ferry from CoCo Yachts,

Whale Carcass Washes Up Under Seattle Ferry Dock

A dead gray whale has floated underneath a busy commuter ferry terminal in downtown Seattle, sending a putrid odor wafting onto the dock and diverting some passenger ferries to another slip,

N-KOM Sees Increased Tanker Business

Nakilat-Keppel Offshore & Marine (N-KOM), which recently celebrated its fourth year in operation, has seen an increasing number of tankers dry docking at its facility in Qatar.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Naval Architecture Pipelines Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar 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: 0.1542 sec (6 req/sec)