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

People & Company News

Sulzer Shareholder has 5 pct Dresser-Rand Stake

Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg's Swiss investment firm Renova Group said on Friday it had a 4.99 percent stake in U.S.-based Dresser-Rand, which might become the object of a takeover battle.

MAN-Powered Cargo Vessel Meets Tier III

Classification society awards SCR system emissions certificate. MAN Diesel & Turbo has been awarded a Tier III - compatibility certificate by the DNV- GL classification

FPSO Petrojarl Knarr Delivered to Norway

Three tugs of Fairmount Marine have towed the brand new FPSO Petrojarl Knarr from South Korea to Norway in just 61 days. Petrojarl Knarr, one of world’s largest

Navy

AN/SPY-1 SSSA Completes Critical Design Review

The Critical Design Review (CDR) stage for AN/SPY-1 radar Solid-State Switch Assembly (SSSA)'s high voltage modulator completed Aug. 26, confirming that the

General Dynamics Wins US Navy Award for F/A-18 Mission Computers

General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics, was awarded a $16.2 million contract by the U.S. Navy to produce Type-3 Advanced

Phoenix International Awarded US$75-M Subsea Navy Contract

US Department of Defense inform that Phoenix International Holdings Inc., Largo, Maryland, is being awarded a $75,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity,

Passenger Vessels

Long Beach Public Invited to Celebrate QM's 80th

The iconic trans-Atlantic liner Queen Mary turns 80 on September 26 and the public is invited to join a ship-wide celebration. The Queen Mary will open her gangways and ballrooms,

MM&P Hopes to Pad Ranks with Brown Water Mariners

New York Harbor Tug Boat Captains and Crews, Staten Island Ferry Workers, Circle Line and Other Tourist Boat Crews Vote on Joining New Union Uniting with the International Organization of Masters,

Seaspovill Orders Second Damen Fast Ferry

South Korean operator Seaspovill signed its second contract for a Fast Ferry with the Netherlands-based shipbuilder Damen Shipyards Group. The Fast Ferry 4212 -

Casualties

USCG in Search of Missing Man in Lake Michigan

The Coast Guard is searching for a man who went missing on Lake Michigan, Tuesday. Missing is 48-year-old Joseph Kiehm from Milwaukee. Kiehm was last seen aboard his 26-foot white sailboat,

S. Korea Navy Chief Quizzed About Salvage Ship Absence

The state audit agency has interrogated the chief of the Navy over a faulty Navy salvage ship that failed to participate in the national rescue operation for the

Arctic Wreck Found after 169 Years

After more than 169 years, Canadian researchers discovered one of the two ships from the doomed Arctic expedition of Sir John Franklin, cracking one of the largest mysteries in sea exploration.

News

Exxon: U.S. to Allow Wind Down Ops in Russian Arctic

U.S. oil major Exxon Mobil said on Friday the U.S. Treasury Department granted it a license to wind down operations on a drilling well in the Kara Sea in the Russian Arctic.

Sulzer Shareholder has 5 pct Dresser-Rand Stake

Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg's Swiss investment firm Renova Group said on Friday it had a 4.99 percent stake in U.S.-based Dresser-Rand, which might become the object of a takeover battle.

Russia: Exxon Still Drilling in its Arctic

ExxonMobil is still drilling in the Russian Arctic, a Russian minister said on Friday, in move that if confirmed will anger Washington after the U.S. administration

Coast Guard

USCG Cutter in Oregon Spill Drill

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Fir, a 225-foot buoy tender homeported in Astoria, Oregon, participated in a Spilled Oil Response System exercise near Blake Island, Washington, Wednesday.

USCG in Search of Missing Man in Lake Michigan

The Coast Guard is searching for a man who went missing on Lake Michigan, Tuesday. Missing is 48-year-old Joseph Kiehm from Milwaukee. Kiehm was last seen aboard his 26-foot white sailboat,

Lake Charles Tugboat Engine Room Fire Extinguished

The Coast Guard informs that along with the Black Bayou Fire Department it has responded to a tugboat on fire near Lake Charles, Louisiana. At approximately 1:15 p.

Eye on the Navy

AN/SPY-1 SSSA Completes Critical Design Review

The Critical Design Review (CDR) stage for AN/SPY-1 radar Solid-State Switch Assembly (SSSA)'s high voltage modulator completed Aug. 26, confirming that the

General Dynamics Wins US Navy Award for F/A-18 Mission Computers

General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics, was awarded a $16.2 million contract by the U.S. Navy to produce Type-3 Advanced

Navy Ships Deliver Supplies to Solomon Islands

Two Royal Australian Navy landing craft have delivered vital supplies to remote communities in Solomon Islands as part of Australia’s commitment to provide support to the region.

People in the News

Source: Siemens Offering $6.1 bln for Dresser Rand

Germany's Siemens plans to offer more than $6.1 billion, or $80 per share, for U.S. compressor and turbine maker Dresser-Rand, Germany's Manager Magazin said on Friday.

Exxon, Rosneft May Halt Arctic Operations

Russia's natural resources minister said on Friday that it was highly likely that U.S. oil major Exxon Mobil Corp and its Russian counterpart Rosneft had halted

Transas Simulators Boosts Western Shipping Training Center

Transas Marine Pacific has successfully completed the upgrade of a simulator complex for Western Shipping Pte. Ltd. training center. The simulator class was

Government Update

Exxon: U.S. to Allow Wind Down Ops in Russian Arctic

U.S. oil major Exxon Mobil said on Friday the U.S. Treasury Department granted it a license to wind down operations on a drilling well in the Kara Sea in the Russian Arctic.

Sulzer Shareholder has 5 pct Dresser-Rand Stake

Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg's Swiss investment firm Renova Group said on Friday it had a 4.99 percent stake in U.S.-based Dresser-Rand, which might become the object of a takeover battle.

Russia: Exxon Still Drilling in its Arctic

ExxonMobil is still drilling in the Russian Arctic, a Russian minister said on Friday, in move that if confirmed will anger Washington after the U.S. administration

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators
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: 0.1869 sec (5 req/sec)