South Korean Ferry Capsizes
On April 16, 2014, 476 passengers boarded on to the Sewol, a ship going from Incheon to Jeju, in South Korea. Unfortunately the ship never made it to Jeju when it capsized. The Sewol left on the evening of April 15 and started taking on water 16 miles off of the coast. After making a sharp left turn was taken the passengers have been reported to say, ” a slight tilt of the ship could be felt, but everyone was still calm, because ships sway all of the time”. By 9:00 that morning the captain of the ship gave orders to evacuate the ship, it was later reported that the captain once one of the first people off of the ship. The ship took about 2 1/2 hours to sink, during which the passengers were fervently sending messages to their family member notifying and convincing them that the ship was actually sinking. The latest reports say that over 150 are confirmed dead, and over 100 are still missing.
The majority of the passengers were secondary school students from Danwon High School, planning of enjoying a field trip in Jeju. Investigation of the capsizing has shown that the crew worker loaded the ship with cargo that weighed 3 times the weight of the recommended amount. As of now 9 crew members have been arrested, as investigation continues to capture all of those held responsible for the disaster.
This past week numerous funeral processions have been held to mourn the loss of passengers of Sewol. The parents of the students are in uproar against the South Korean government for not being more effective and evasive with their actions towards saving the passengers, and that they only managed to rescue 174 passengers. Many were saved, but the fact that the accident shouldn’t have happened to begin with, isn’t settling too well. The ship experienced a sketchy inspection the year before, and it has been reported that the steering gears were off, and there was a deck added to the ship that investigators think may have lead to the off-balance of the ship. The last maritime disaster that happened in the country was in 1993.