Experts: S. Korean Ferry Could Be Raised for $91M

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

February 10, 2015

 The MV Sewol (Photo by the Korea Coast Guard)

The MV Sewol (Photo by the Korea Coast Guard)

The MV Sewol, the capsized South Korean ferry that killed 304 passengers, could be raised, the country's Choson Ilbo newspaper reported yesterday.

A 23-member task force of civilian experts and government officials concluded that raising the intact hull of the ferry is possible. The scenario proposed by task force members involves drilling approximately 100 lifting holes on the starboard side of the ship. The hull would then be connected by chains to two floating cranes weighing between 10,000 and 8,000 tons and moved to shallow waters.

The task force estimated the operation would cost $91.7 million. There are still nine passengers unaccounted for from the ferry, which made global headlines when it capsized in April of 2014 during a trip between Incheon and Jeju. Although response teams accounted for all but nine of  the victims, two divers died in May during search efforts. The government called off the search in November, which is when the task force began investigating the possibility of raising the hull. The team is planning to submit a report to the Ministry of Public Safety and Security in mid-March.

The ferry's operator ceased operations after the accident. The captain of the ferry was sentenced to 36-years in prison for gross negligence in November. 

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