South Korea Ferry Survivors Demand Answers

Posted by Joseph Keefe
Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Teenage survivors of South Korea's worst maritime disaster in 20 years, many wearing yellow bracelets, walked out of classrooms on Tuesday and marched on parliament to demand enabling legislation for a inquiry into the more than 300 deaths.

More than half of the 75 children rescued from the ferry Sewol that capsized and sank on April 16 joined growing public calls for parliament to pass a special bill for an independent inquiry sought by victims' families. More than 3.5 million signatures have been collected to demand its passage.

"The entire nation saw it on April 16. We ask that the truth behind the unfair deaths our friends suffered be told," said a bespectacled boy taking part, who asked not to be identified.

"We don't know much about the law, but if we don't do this there is nothing we can do, so we ask that our wish is met."

Of the 476 passengers and crew, 339 were children and teachers from Danwon Highschool on the outskirts of Seoul. Only 172 people were rescued and the rest are presumed to have drowned.

The children passed though the school's stone gates and down a boulevard, mostly in silence.

Many wore the bracelets emblazoned with "Remember 0416" or sashes and kerchiefs made out of yellow pieces of cloth - the colour chosen to express dissatisfaction with the authorities' handling of the disaster.

Other marchers carried yellow flags. One sign read: "Shed light on our friends' unfair deaths."

"Our children are marching with their pure hearts to console parents of their friends and ask to find the truth of the disaster," said Oh Ji-yeon, the father of one survivor.

The children made their way to a small park where 15 relatives of victims were undertaking the second day of a hunger strike to press for the bill. Marchers set up displays of yellow paper boats to draw attention to the strikers.

BOXES OF SIGNATURES


Nearby, organisers set up neat rows of boxes, covered in yellow paper, each containing some of the 3.5 million signatures backing the petition to parliament. Several dozen adults had earlier marched to the site carrying yellow umbrellas.

The Sewol's 15 surviving crew members, including the captain, are on trial on charges ranging from homicide to negligence. Security forces have been engaged in a manhunt for more than two months for the head of the family that owns the holding company of the ferry operator.

Families of the victims and survivors say too little is being done to establish the truth about what led to the disaster on a routine journey to the holiday island of Jeju.

The special law demanded by the petitioners would ensure their participation in an independent probe into the sinking. The families have demanded the right to name half the experts from the independent team to pursue the inquiry.

Parliament has agreed to consider the bill, but is split on legal grounds over whether to grant the group investigative authority. Investigators have established that the Sewol was overloaded and travelling too fast on a turn when it sank.

President Park Geun-hye's government has come under heavy criticism for its handling of the disaster and the sluggish rescue operation. Her prime minister resigned but was reinstated after two failed attempts to find a replacement.


Reporting by Jinwoo Lee and Ju-min Park

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter April 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

China COSCO to be First through the Expanded Panama Canal

China COSCO Shipping has won the draw for its container vessel Andronikos to make the ceremonial first transit through the Expanded Panama Canal during the waterway’s inauguration on Sunday, June 26.

Sellick Equipment to Open New Facility

On April, 20, 2016, at the young age of 97 years, Walter Sellick along with sons Howard Sellick - President, David Sellick - Vice President and grandson Colin Sellick - Systems Manager,

Asia Tankers-VLCCs Rates Ease as Tanker Jams Fade

Port congestion eases at Basra and Chinese ports; tanker demand set to expand on lower oil prices. Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs), hurt by slower-than-usual release of cargo,

Legal

Drug Interception at Red Hook Container Terminal

Approximately 121 pounds of heroin and eight pounds of cocaine were discovered in a shipping container of vegetables that was moving from Ecuador to Miami, Fla.

Royal Caribbean's Revenue up 5.6%

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd reported a 5.6 percent rise in quarterly revenue, helped by higher passenger ticket revenue and onboard spending, sending the company's

ICS Criticises 'Prestige’ Judgement by Spanish Court

At a meeting of the International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds (IOPCF) this week, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has strongly criticised the judgement

Passenger Vessels

Norovirus Outbreak on Fred. Olsen Cruise Ship

An outbreak of the norovirus stomach bug has sickened 160 people aboard a Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines ship docked at Norfolk, Virginia, U.S. health officials and the company said on Friday.

Royal Caribbean's Revenue up 5.6%

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd reported a 5.6 percent rise in quarterly revenue, helped by higher passenger ticket revenue and onboard spending, sending the company's

Fincantieri Orders Heat Power Systems for Cruise Newbuilds

Italian shipbuilding group Fincantieri has selected Climeon’s heat power system Climeon Ocean for its energy efficient solutions, purchasing six Climeon Ocean 450M

Maritime Security

Canadian Navy Frigate Refit Program Completed

Seaspan joined Harjit S. Sajjan, Canada’s Minister of National Defense, at an official ceremony today to celebrate the completion of the Halifax-Class Modernization/Frigate

Drug Interception at Red Hook Container Terminal

Approximately 121 pounds of heroin and eight pounds of cocaine were discovered in a shipping container of vegetables that was moving from Ecuador to Miami, Fla.

How France Sank Japan's Sub Dream

Ousting of Japan ally PM Abbott opened door to rivals; Tokyo slow to respond to new competitive process. In 2014, a blossoming friendship between Australian

News

Mercury Marine Expands Manufacturing Capacity

Mercury Marine is adding a 53,000 square foot manufacturing capacity expansion to its global headquarters in Fond du Lac, Wisc. The expansion will consist of 45,

Conquest Installs 850t Crane on Allseas Solitaire

Conquest Offshore was contracted by Allseas to remove a 300-ton crane and transport and install a 850-ton Huisman crane on board of one of the largest pipe-lay vessels in the world, Allseas Solitaire.

MARAD: $5 Mln Available for Marine Highway Projects

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) has announced the availability of $5 million in Federal funding to expand marine highway service by creating new or expanding

Maritime Safety

Norovirus Outbreak on Fred. Olsen Cruise Ship

An outbreak of the norovirus stomach bug has sickened 160 people aboard a Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines ship docked at Norfolk, Virginia, U.S. health officials and the company said on Friday.

ICS Criticises 'Prestige’ Judgement by Spanish Court

At a meeting of the International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds (IOPCF) this week, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has strongly criticised the judgement

WILCO Logistics Bags Townsville Port Safety Works

WILCO Logistics Pty Ltd has been announced as the successful bid contractor on Breakwater safety works at the Port of Townsville.   Minister for Ports Mark Bailey said the overall $1.

People in the News

ICS Criticises 'Prestige’ Judgement by Spanish Court

At a meeting of the International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds (IOPCF) this week, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has strongly criticised the judgement

WILCO Logistics Bags Townsville Port Safety Works

WILCO Logistics Pty Ltd has been announced as the successful bid contractor on Breakwater safety works at the Port of Townsville.   Minister for Ports Mark Bailey said the overall $1.

Cargotec Logs Higher Profits

Cargotec's January-March 2016 interim report: Profitability improved according to target   * Strong order intake in Kalmar and Hiab   * MacGregor profitability

Government Update

MARAD: $5 Mln Available for Marine Highway Projects

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) has announced the availability of $5 million in Federal funding to expand marine highway service by creating new or expanding

Pacific Nations Take a Stand on Shipping Emissions

On Earth Day, Pacific leaders queued among 175 countries to sign the Paris Agreement in New York. Earlier that day in London, the International Maritime Organization (IMO),

EU Clears CMA CGM, NOL Merger, with Conditions

The European Commission said on Friday it had cleared French shipping group CMA CGM's $2.4 billion takeover of Neptune Orient Lines on condition that NOL pulls out from a rival shipping alliance.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Maritime Standards Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction 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: 0.1424 sec (7 req/sec)