PERSONALLY, TO ANSWER THE QUESTION POSED IN THIS POST TODAY, I THINK THAT THE FAMILIES OF THE DROWNED STUDENTS AND OTHERS WHO PERISHED IN THIS FERRY SINKING SHOULD SAY WHO IS TO HANG.
OR...PERHAPS THEY COULD ASK THAT THOSE WHO ABANDONED THEIR CHILDREN AND LOVED ONES, THE CAPTAIN AND THE CREW WHO ESCAPED ALIVE AND LEFT ALL THOSE PEOPLE BEHIND, THE ONES WHO TOLD THE PASSENGERS NOT TO LEAVE THE SHIP BUT WHO, THEMSELVES LEFT THE SHIP, ALL BE BROUGHT TO THE GYMNASIUM WHERE VICTIMS' FAMILIES WAIT FOR NEWS. THEY COULD LEAVE THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MANY ERRORS AND THOSE GUILTY OF ABANDONMENT WITH THOSE WHO HAVE LOST PRECIOUS RELATIVES...THEY SHOULD SHOVE THEM INTO THAT GYMNASIUM WITH THOSE WHO ARE INSIDE GRIEVING AND HOPELESS, AND THEN BOLT THE DOORS TIGHTLY SHUT.
THAT WOULD BE JUSTICE.
LET THE FAMILIES DECIDE.
ONLY A LITTLE MORE THAN ONE THIR OF THE PASSENGERS SURVIVED, ALTHOUGH IT TOOK OVER TWO HOURS FOR THE SHIP TO SINK!
60-year-old passenger Cha Eun-ok, who was on the deck of the ship taking photographs when it began to sink, said:
"It was fine then the ship went 'boom' and there was a noise of cargo falling."
"I was keeping still without making any movements.
There was an announcement that we should not move."
"The on-board announcement told people to stay put...people who stayed are trapped."
THE STUDENTS WERE JUST OBEYING ORDERS, AND FOR THAT, THEY PERISHED, WHILE THOSE WHO GAVE THEM THOSE ORDERS ABANDONED THE FERRY AND SURVIVED.
WHAT AN AWFUL THING TO THINK ABOUT!
25 April 2014: Divers searching a sunken passenger ferry off South Korea found 48 bodies in a single room on the vessel meant to accommodate 38 people, officials say.The group was crammed into a dormitory and all were wearing lifejackets, a South Korean Navy officer said.
Some 183 bodies have been recovered from the Sewol, but 119 remain missing, presumed drowned.
More than 80 percent of the 302 dead and missing are students from a single high school in Ansan, south of Seoul.
The head of the operation to retrieve bodies said on Friday he had "no idea" how long the ship search would take.
Retrieving the bodies was far harder than finding them, he said, with divers unable to spend much longer than 10 minutes inside the ship at a time.
"Just imagine a room that is flipped," one of the divers told the Associated Press news agency. "Everything is floating around, and it's hard to know exactly where they are."
Officials said rescuers are retrieving around 30 bodies a day but the bereaved families have demanded that all remaining bodies are removed from the ferry before the weekend.
Search officials said just 35 of the 111 rooms had been searched so far.
There were 476 people on board, with many trapped inside as the ferry listed and sank within two hours of distress signals being sent.
ONLY 174 passengers were rescued.
THE CAPTAIN AND SEVERAL CREW MEMBERS ABANDONED SHIP, LEFT THE OTHERS ONBOARD WITH NO LIFE RAFTS DEPLOYED, NO WAY TO ESCAPE..
THE CAPTAIN WAS NOT ON THE BRIDGE WHEN THE ACCIDENT OCCURRED, LEAVING A YOUNG, INEXPERIENCED 3rd MATE TO STEER THE SHIP.
Investigators on Friday (25 April 2014) said that life rafts and escape chutes on a sister ship to the sunken ferry were not working properly.
SO, CAN THEY DETERMINE IF THE SUNKEN FERRY ALSO HAD FAULTY ESCAPE CHUTES AND LIFE RAFTS?
Lee Gyeong-og, the vice-minister of security and public administration, was quoted by the AP news agency as saying that 30 crew members, 325 high school students, 15 school teachers and 89 non-student passengers were aboard the ship.
The captain of the ship, Lee Joon-seok, 69, and other crew members have been arrested on negligence charges.
Sadly, the vice-principal, who was one of the survivors, apparently committed suicide...
Compounding the tragedy of the ship sinking, one of those rescued, a high school vice principal who was on board the ferry along with more than 300 students, was found hanging from a tree, police said.
The vice-principal of a South Korean high school who accompanied hundreds of pupils on a ferry that capsized has committed suicide, police said on Friday, as hopes faded of finding any of the 274 missing alive.
Kang Min Kyu, 52, vice principal of Ansan Danwon High School, was among the first survivors to be rescued.
He had been missing since the day after the capsizing.
Police said he apparently hanged himself with a belt from a tree near a gymnasium in Jindo, where distraught relatives of missing passengers have been camping.
He left no suicide note.
Previously, he had been quoted as saying, 'I take full responsibility'.
ALMOST ALL THE CREW AND THE CAPTAIN SURVIVED.
Several crew members, including the captain, left the ferry as it was sinking while passengers were told to stay in their cabins.
Twenty-two of the 29 members of the ferry's crew survived, and nine have been arrested or detained in connection with the investigation.AN ACT OF MURDER!
South Korea's president, Park Geun-hye, said on Monday that the instructions were tantamount to an "act of murder".
Ms. Park said it was increasingly clear that the captain had unnecessarily delayed the evacuation of passengers as the ferry started sinking, and then "deserted them" by escaping first.
A STUDENT, NOT THE CREW MADE THE FIRST CALL FOR HELP!
Jindo, South Korea (CNN) -- The first distress call from the ferry Sewol came not from the crew, but from a boy who used a cell phone to contact emergency services from aboard the sinking ship, the South Korean coast guard confirmed to CNN Tuesday.
CNN affiliate JTBC reported that the boy dialed South Korea's emergency number, telling dispatchers for a local fire service, "Help us. The boat is sinking." The boy's fate was not clear.
It was not until three minutes later, the coast guard told CNN, that the ship's crew made a distress call to maritime officials.
The revelation is likely to add to questions about the conduct of the crew, nine of whom are facing charges in last week's sinking.
THE CAPTAIN WAS NOT THE ONE STEERING THE SHIP, AN INEXPERIENCED 3rd MATE WAS! AND HE WAS IN UNFAMILIAR WATERS!
Officials said on Saturday that the ferry was being steered by an inexperienced third mate in unfamiliar waters when it sank.
A 26-year-old third mate was in charge for the first time in the passage.
The Ministry of Ocean and Fisheries had released incomplete data on the turn last week a central station did not receive all the signals the Sewol's on-board transponder had sent. It released more complete details on Tuesday with data received by another station, and those show that the ferry spent about three minutes making a roughly 180-degree turn shortly before it began to list.
It remains unclear why the ship turned around. The third mate, who was arrested Saturday, was steering at the time of the accident, in a challenging area where she had not steered before, and the captain said he was not on the bridge at the time.
Prosecutors have not identified the third mate, but a fellow crew member identified her as Park Han-kyul.
The captain of the ferry, 69-year-old Lee Joon-seok, was not initially on the bridge when the ship ran into trouble.
"I'm not sure where the captain was before the accident. However, right after the accident, I saw him rushing back into the steering house ahead of me," said Oh Young-seok, one of the helmsmen on the ship who was off duty and resting at the time.
WHY NOT? WHERE WAS HE?
Witnesses said the captain and some crew members took to rescue boats before the passengers.
Lee said earlier he feared that passengers would be swept away by the ferocious currents if they leapt into the sea. He has not explained why he left the vessel.
But maritime experts said he could have ordered passengers to the deck - where they would have had a greater chance of survival - without telling them to abandon ship.
DID THE FERRY HIT SUBMERGED ROCKS, OR JUST TURN TOO SHARPLY?
The ferry went down in calm conditions and was following a frequently traveled route in familiar waters. Although relatively close to shore, the area was free of rocks and reefs.
Investigations are focusing on a sharp turn the vessel took before it started listing and whether an evacuation order could have saved lives.
Some experts believe the ship's tight turn could have dislodged heavy cargo and destabilized the vessel, while others suggest the sinking could have been caused by a collision with a rock.
Messages and phone calls from those inside painted a picture of people trapped in crowded corridors, unable to escape the sharply-listing ferry.
Rescued passengers report hearing a loud thud before the boat began to tilt. This may have been caused by the vessel striking a submerged object such as a rock or a sunken container.
However, the noise may also have been caused by large cargo coming loose aboard the vessel.
According to John Noble, a salvage expert, the speed with which the boat turned on its side - over roughly two hours - could be significant.
He says the ship's compartments appear to have flooded rapidly. This could indicate extensive damage to the hull, or leakage through doors that were meant to be watertight.
Captain Noble has told the ABC it would be a "miracle" if anyone was found alive inside the sunken ferry.
"The water temperature is about 12 degrees (Celsius). People just cannot survive in water at that temperature for that length of time and if they found an air pocket I doubt that there would be much chance of survival by now," he said.
"If there is, it would be a miracle."
THE CREW KEPT TELLING THE PASSENGERS TO STAY PUT, NOT LEAVE THE SINKING SHIP!
Footage from the ship appeared to show instructions from crew members for passengers to remain on board even as it tilted dramatically to one side.
Several survivors say that the crew ordered them to stay in place when the vessel ran into trouble. Ultimately, only two of the ferry's lifeboats were deployed. Many passengers were rescued after jumping into the sea, wearing lifejackets.
NOT ALL OF HE 29 CREW MEMBERS ABANDONED THE PASSENGERS!
Some fled the ferry, including the captain, but not all.
At least seven of the 29 crew members are missing or dead, and several of those who survived stayed on or near the ship to help passengers.
As the ferry sank, some crew members gave their life jackets to passengers.
One refused to leave until she shepherded students off the ship, and she was later found dead.
Others worked from rescue boats to break windows with hammers and pull people trapped in cabins to safety.
ALL 15 OF THE STEERING CREW SURVIVED AND ALL 15 HAVE BEEN ARRESTED.
THAT LEAVES 7 CREW MEMBERS OF THE 22 WHO SURVIVED.
ONLY 2 LIFEBOATS WERE DEPLOYED?
HOW MANY COULD HAVE BEEN LAUNCHED TO SAVE LIVES? 46...46!!!
A crew member quoted by local media said that attempts to launch lifeboats were unsuccessful because the ship was listing too severely. Only two of the vessel's 46 lifeboats were reported to have been deployed.
Oh Yong-seok, a crew member, told the Associated Press news agency that the officers initially tried to stabilise the vessel. He says they instructed passengers to put on life-jackets and stay on the ship. The evacuation order was only given after 30 minutes, Mr Oh said, and it may not have reached all the passengers.
Three times in succession, and about half an hour after the ferry Sewol began tilting on Wednesday, a crew member asked Jindo Vessel Traffic Services Center [VTS] whether passengers would be rescued if they abandoned ship off South Korea’s southern coast.
That followed several statements from the ship that it was impossible for people aboard to even move, and another in which it said it was “impossible to broadcast” instructions.
“At least make them wear life rings and make them escape!” the VTS official responded INITIALLY.
“If this ferry evacuates passengers, will they be rescued right away?” the crew member asked again.
“Don’t let them go bare — at least make them wear life rings and make them escape!” the VTS official repeated. “I’m not talking about that,” the crew member said. “I asked, if they evacuate now, can they be rescued right away?”
The VTS official then said patrol boats would arrive in 10 minutes, though another civilian ship was already nearby and had told VTS 10 minutes earlier that it would rescue anyone who went overboard.
At 9.29, the crew member said, “I can see other ships,” then asked the Jindo VTS official to tell one of the ships to move from the Sewol’s front to its left.
It was not until 9.37 that it was clear to VTS that the ferry had given an order to evacuate: “People are trying to evacuate on their left side. I did broadcast, but it’s impossible to move to the left,” the crew member said. The ferry’s last communication with the official came seconds later.
INSTRUCTIONS MAY NOT HAVE BEEN HEARD BY ALL THE PASSENGERS BECAUSE THE CAPTAIN AND SOME OF THE CREW HAD ALREADY LEFT THE FERRY TO SAVE THEMSELVES AND WERE NOT ISSUING ANY INSTRUCTIONS, THEY WERE SAFELY OFF THE FERRY!
WERE THEY THE ONLY ONES IN THE TWO LIFEBOATS THAT WERE DEPLOYED AND HOW DID THEY MANAGE TO LAUNCH THOSE TWO BOATS AND NO OTHERS?
SEVERAL RECOVERED BODIES WERE STILL WEARING LIFE VESTS.
Some of the passengers managed to jump into the ocean, wearing life jackets, and swim to nearby rescue boats and commercial vessels.
But several survivors have said that they were told by crew members not to move.
"We must have waited 30 to 40 minutes after the crew told us to stay put," one unnamed rescued student was quoted as saying by AFP news agency.
"Then everything tilted over and everyone started screaming and scrambling to get out," he said.
Koo Bon-hee, 36, told the Associated Press that the rescue was not "done well". "If people had jumped into the water... they could have been rescued. But we were told not to go out."
STUDENTS WERE ALL FROM ONE HIGH SCHOOL IN ANSAN, SOUTH KOREA.
Some 350 of those on board were students from Danwon High School in Ansan, a suburb of Seoul, who were on a school outing when the ferry sank.
Since the accident parents of the missing have been gathered in a gymnasium in the port city of Jindo, often venting their anger at the crew's inaction and the slow pace of the rescue operation.
Divers are now retrieving bodies at a faster pace and some parents have moved from the gymnasium to the pier to await news.
Others stay put on their mattresses in the gym, where one by one, parents are informed that a body matches the family DNA swab they all provided, prompting outbursts of grief as others look on in silence.
The US Navy has sent an amphibious assault ship, the USS Bonhomme Richard, to assist with the search.
Two US underwater drones have been deployed in the search for bodies, a coastguard official said.
Divers have been unable to reach the bodies of more victims due to fast tides and murky water conditions.
Military divers have been fighting high winds and waves to try to access the vessel but were not able to get into any of the cabins, the Chief of the West Regional Headquarters of the South Korean Coastguard, Kim Soo-hyun, said.
"Honestly, I think the chances of finding anyone alive are close to zero," one coastguard official told an AFP journalist on a rescue boat.
PARENTS JUST WANT THEIR CHILDREN FOUND, WANT TO SEE THEM ONE LAST TIME.
"Please lift the ship, so we can get the bodies out," a woman who identified herself as the mother of a child called Kang Hyuck said.
Relatives are desperate to retrieve bodies before they decompose beyond recognition, Fisheries minister, Lee Woon-geun said.
On Sunday evening, dozens of relatives who gathered at the port in Jindo surrounded the fisheries minister. They shouted, swore, yelled threats and pushed him as he was on his way to a meeting with other officials.
“After four or five days, the body starts to decay. When it’s decayed, if you try to hold a hand it might fall off,” a father said. “I miss my son. I’m really afraid I might not get to find his body.”
Many relatives believe some of the victims may have survived for several days in trapped air pockets, but perished in the cold water after no rescue came.
As a result some have asked for autopsies to be performed, to see if it would be possible to determine the precise cause and time of death.
Meanwhile, prosecutors probing the disaster have collected a vast trove of chat records from popular app Kakao Talk to reconstruct the final moments of the ship's sinking.
Phone records from all crew members have also been collected.
Heartbreaking messages from passengers, detailing their frantic last minutes on the ship, have been published in the South Korean media in the days since the disaster.
Some of those trapped HAD managed to send text messages to their relatives.
"Dad, don't worry. I'm wearing a life vest and am with other girls. We're inside the ship, still in the hallway," one girl messaged to her father.
When her distraught father wrote back urging her to leave, she wrote in her last message: "Dad, I can't. The ship is too tilted. The hallway is crowded with so many people."
Witnesses have said the Sewol turned sharply before it began listing. It is still not clear why the vessel turned.
FOR TWO HOURS PASSENGERS WERE REPEATEDLY TOLD NOT TO ABANDON THE SHIP!
It took more than two hours for it to capsize completely but passengers were ordered to stay put in their cabins.
AT 8:55 IN THE MORNING, LOCAL TIME, THE CREW SENT THE 1st DISTRESS CALL, A FULL 3 MINUTES AFTER THE STUDENT HAD CALLED FOR HELP!
NOT UNTIL 9:30, 35 MINUTES LATER, WAS AN EVACUATION ORDERED.
BUT THE LIFE RAFTS WERE NOT DEPLOYED AS THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN!
YOU MAY SEE AN ENLARGED IMAGE HERE: http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/74301000/jpg/_74301799_ferry_map_624.jpg
Aerial footage (CLICK HERE) shows passengers being rescued as the ship went down
WARNING: THE ABOVE VIDEO, SHOULD YOU DECIDE TO CLICK ON THE LINK TO VIEW IT, IS VERY, VERY HARD TO WATCH AS THE PEOPLE STRUGGLE TO LIVE.
I ASK YOU, HOW WOULD YOUNG SCHOOL STUDENTS, EVEN IF THEY WERE TEENAGERS, KNOW HOW TO ESCAPE SUCH A THING? WITHOUT ADULTS TO HELP THEM, HOW COULD THEY KNOW WHERE ANY SAFE WAYS OUT OF THE SINKING SHIP WERE?
They did report that they had seen no bodies yet in the cafeteria where it had been said many of the students were when the boat began to sink.
Eun-su Choi had made the ferry journey hundreds of times. He had just had breakfast and gone up on the deck to smoke when disaster struck.
"All of a sudden the ship tilted and started to sink. Containers started to fall off into the sea, and I realised we were going to capsize.
"I was clinging on to the handrail. I tried to save some of the students in the cafeteria. They were sliding around on their knees by the cashier's desk."
He added: "We were trying to pull them up with a fire hose, but it was very difficult to rescue them. We then decided to climb up, but I now regret it."
He said his friend managed to pull a six-year-old girl to safety after she was passed by her parents and other passengers, hand to hand.
All of the people he saw helping the girl were swept away by the water, he added.
Anguished families of the missing, fearful they might be left without even their loved ones’ bodies, expressed their rage over the government’s handling of the crisis several times on Sunday.
About 100 relatives attempted a long protest march to the presidential Blue House in Seoul, about 400 kilometres to the north, saying they wanted to voice their complaints to President Park Geun-hye. They walked for about six hours before some 200 police officers in neon jackets blocked them from continuing on a main road.
“The government is the killer,” they shouted as they pushed against a police barricade.
The victims are overwhelmingly students of a single high school in Ansan, near Seoul. More than three-quarters of the 323 students are dead or missing, while nearly two-thirds of the other 153 people on board survived.
ONLY A TOTAL OF 174 PASSENGERS WERE RESCUED ALIVE FROM THE SEWOL IMMEDIATELY AFTER IT CAPSIZED.
SURELY IF ALL HAD BEEN TOLD TO EVACUATE THE SHIP DURING THAT FIRST 30 MINUTES, MANY, MANY MORE WOULD HAVE ALSO BEEN RESCUED!
302 PASSENGERS, AT THAT TIME, WERE FEARED DROWNED.
AS OF TODAY, APRIL 23, 152 people are still missing.
The confirmed death toll [THE BODY COUNT] has reached 150, as divers recovered more bodies from the sunken hull of the Sewol.
IT HAS BEEN A WEEK NOW SINCE THIS TRAGEDY STRUCK.
The ship's veteran captain, 69-year old Lee Joon-seok, was arrested with two other crew members on Saturday, and five charges were lodged against him, including negligence of duty and violation of maritime law.
It is now a proven fact that he was not at the helm or even on the bridge when the ferry capsized, although crew members said he tried to right the ship later.
The third mate, who had the helm when the ferry struck trouble, was one of those also arrested.
"I don't know why he abandoned the ship like that," said Ju Hi-chun, a maritime author who interviewed the captain in 2006 as one of the experts on the route to Jeju island.But he added: "Koreans don't have the view that they have to stay with their ship until the end. It is a different culture from the West."
The 20-year-old ferry appeared to have a clean bill of health, based on its inspection record, although police have seized records from the ship owners and the company that supervised the loading of the vessel.
Yonhap news agency said 180 vehicles were being carried by the ferry, along with 1,157 tonnes of freight. At least some of the freight was in containers stacked on the foredeck of the ferry.
The operator of the ferry had added more cabin rooms to three floors after its purchase of the ship, which was built in Japan in 1994, an official at the private Korean Register of Shipping told the AP on Friday.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not allowed to discuss matters under investigation, said the extension work between October 2012 and February 2013 increased the Sewol's weight by 187 tons and added enough room for 117 more people.
WAS THAT A FACTOR IN THIS TRAGEDY?
WAS THE SHIP TOO TOP-HEAVY?
Prosecutors are said to be investigating whether modifications made to the ferry made it more unstable.
Reports have emerged indicating that the ship's sleeping cabins were refitted some time between 2012 and 2013, which experts say may have inadvertently affected the balance of the boat.
Prosecutors have raided a host of businesses affiliated with the ferry operator, the Chonghaejin Marine Company, as part of an overall probe into corrupt management.
As part of their widening probe, prosecutors issued travel bans Friday on eight current and former executives of the Korea Register of Shipping — the body responsible for issuing marine safety certificates.
The record of the ferry owner was also under investigation and documents were removed from its headquarters in Incheon.Chonghaejin Marine Co Ltd is an unlisted company that operates five ships. It reported an operating loss of 785 million won ($756,000) last year.
According to data from South Korea's Financial Supervisory Service, a government body, Chonghaejin is "indirectly" owned by two sons of the owner of a former shipping company called Semo Marine which went bankrupt in 1997.
HOW COULD SO MANY STUDENTS PERISH BUT SO MANY MORE OF THOSE WHO WERE NOT STUDENTS SURVIVE?
WERE THE TEENAGERS JUST OBEYING THE INSTRUCTIONS WHILE THE OTHERS DID NOT?
HOW TRAGIC WOULD IT BE IF THEY PERISHED ONLY BECAUSE THEY WERE OBEYING THE ADULTS?
PERHAPS WE SHOULD TEACH OUR CHILDREN THAT THEY DON'T ALWAYS HAVE TO OBEY INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN BY ADULTS, AND TALK WITH THEM ABOUT SITUATIONS LIKE THIS ONE.
THE FERRY, SUBMERGED."Currently, I am in the middle of being rescued. At the time, the ship was turning on its side, and none of us were moving as we were told not to move as it was dangerous," the unnamed student said.
FINAL WORD, FROM ONE WHO SURVIVED, A STUDENT:
One student told local media her friends became trapped.
FINAL WORD, FROM ONE WHO SURVIVED, A STUDENT:
One student told local media her friends became trapped.
"So, I am not well aware of the situation, but I am told that my friends and other friends could not escape as the passage was blocked. It seems that there are many students who could not get out as the passage was blocked by water."