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story of south korean ferry sinking takes strange turn

Discussion in 'Coffee Shack (Daily News/Economy)' started by EO 11110, Apr 18, 2014.



  1. EO 11110

    EO 11110 He Hate Me Mother Lode

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    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/04/18/south-korea-ferry-text-faked/7861085/

    Hundreds of text messages allegedly sent by missing students aboard a sunken ferry to family members were faked, according to Korea's Cyber Terror Response Center, South Korean media report.

    The South Kerry ferry sank on Wednesday off South Korea's southwest coast with 475 people aboard. Officials say 28 bodies have been found and 268 are still missing.

    South Korean news outlets on Wednesday had released some of the purported conversations.

    The texts, ostensibly sent from students still trapped in the submerged vessel, begged for help or offered parting words to loved ones.

    The Yonhap News Agency and The Korea Heraldquote Korea's Cyber Terror Response Center at the National Police agency as saying on Thursday that they had checked cell phone use logs of the 271 missing and concluded that none of them had sent any text or made calls after the ferry sank.
     
  2. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Vice-Principal Of South Korea School In Ferry Disaster Commits Suicide

    April 18, 2014 By Reuters




    [​IMG]



    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.

    The Sewol, carrying 476 passengers and crew, capsized on Wednesday on a journey from the port of Incheon to the southern holiday island of Jeju.

    Kang Min-gyu, 52, had been missing since Thursday. He appeared to have hanged himself with his belt from a tree outside a gym in the port city of Jindo where relatives of the people missing on the ship, mostly children from the school, were gathered.

    Police said Kang did not leave a suicide note and that they had started looking for him after he was reported missing by a fellow teacher. He was rescued from the ferry after it capsized.

    Twenty-eight people had been officially declared dead before Kang’s suicide. One hundred and seventy-four were rescued. Most of the missing are students from the Danwon High School on the outskirts of Seoul, who were on a holiday trip.


    [​IMG]

    The government revised the total number of passengers and the number of people rescued, saying there had been further inaccuracies in tabulation, without elaborating.

    Divers are fighting strong tides and murky waters to get to the sunken ship. The likelihood of finding any of the missing alive is slim.

    At the high school in Ansan, an industrial town near Seoul, many friends and family of the missing gathered in sombre silence, with occasional sounds of sobbing breaking the quiet.

    “When I first received the call telling me the news, at that time I still had hope,” said Cho Kyung-mi, who was waiting for news of her missing 16 year-old nephew at the school. “And now it’s all gone.”

    In the classrooms of the missing, fellow students have left messages on desks, blackboards and windows, asking for the safe return of their missing friends.

    “If I see you again, I’ll tell you I love you, because I haven’t said it to you enough,” reads one message.

    Investigations into the sinking, South Korea’s worst maritime accident in 21 years based on possible casualties, have centred on possible crew negligence, problems with cargo stowage and structural defects of the vessel, although the ship appears to have passed all of its safety and insurance checks.

    The ship’s 69-year-old captain has also come under scrutiny after witnesses said he was among the first to escape the sinking vessel that was on a 400-km (300-mile) voyage to Jeju.

    According to investigators, Captain Lee Joon-seok was not on the bridge at the time the Sewol started to list sharply, with a junior officer at the wheel.

    Prosecutors on Friday issued arrest warrants for Lee, the officer at the wheel and one other crew member for failing in their duty to aid passengers.

    “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.

    “He calmly asked by how much the ship was tilted, and tried to re-balance the ship,” said Oh, who was speaking from a hospital bed in the city of Mokpo on Friday, where the injured have been taken.


    NORMAL PRACTICE

    Handing over the helm is normal practice on the voyage from Incheon to Jeju, which usually takes 13.5 hours, according to local shipping crew.

    Divers gained access to the cargo deck of the ferry on Friday, although that was not close to the passenger quarters, according to a coastguard official.

    Other coastguard officials said that divers made several attempts to reach the passenger areas but failed.

    “We cannot even see the ship’s white colour. Our people are just touching the hull with their hands,” Kim Chun-il, a diver from Undine Marine Industries, told relatives of the missing.

    The ferry went down in calm conditions and was following a frequently travelled route in familiar waters. Although relatively close to shore, the area was free of rocks and reefs.

    Lee has not commented on when he left the ship, although he has apologised for the loss of life.

    He was described as an industry veteran by the officials from Chonghaejin Marine Co Ltd, the ship owner, and others who had met him described him as an “expert”.

    “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.”

    Some media reports have said the vessel turned sharply, causing cargo to shift and the ship to list before capsizing.

    Marine investigators and the coastguard have said it was too early to pinpoint a cause for the accident and declined to comment on the possibility of the cargo shifting.

    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.

    (By Jungmin Jang and Ju-min Park, Additional reporting by Jack Kim, Miyoung Kim, James Pearson, Sohee Kim and Cho Meeyoung; Writing by David Chance; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan and Nick Macfie)

    Copyright 2014 Thomson Reuters

    http://www.marineinsight.com/shippi...-korea-school-ferry-disaster-commits-suicide/
     
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  3. gringott

    gringott Killed then Resurrected Midas Member Site Supporter

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    Horrible story and event.
    I spent a year in Korea, the young people were always polite and well mannered when I had contact with them.
    My heart goes out to the families and friends for their loss.
     
  4. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    South Korean President Says Conduct of Sewol Crew Amounts to Murder

    By Reuters On April 21, 2014



    [​IMG]
    The South Korean passenger ship Sewol is seen sinking off Jindo, April 16, 2014. REUTERS/Yonhap



    [​IMG]
    By Ju-min Park


    JINDO, South Korea, April 21 (Reuters) – South Korean President Park Geun-hye said on Monday the actions of the captain and crew of a ferry that sank last week with hundreds feared dead were tantamount to murder, as authorities arrested four more officers of the vessel.

    Sixty-four people are known to have died and 238 are missing, presumed dead, in the sinking of the Sewol ferry last Wednesday. Most of the victims are high school children.

    Captain Lee Joon-seok, 69, and two other crew members were arrested last week on negligence charges, with prosecutors announcing four further arrests – two first mates, one second mate and a chief engineer – on Monday.

    Several crew members, including the captain, left the ferry as it was sinking, ahead of the passengers, witnesses have said.

    Park said the crew’s desertion was tantamount to murder.

    “Above all, the conduct of the captain and some crew members is unfathomable from the viewpoint of common sense, and it was like an act of murder that cannot and should not be tolerated,” Yonhap news agency quoted her as saying during a meeting with aides.

    Lee, the captain, said in a promotional video four years ago that the journey from the port city of Incheon to the holiday island of Jeju was safe – as long as passengers followed the instructions of the crew.

    He also told a newspaper that he had been involved in a sea accident off Japan years before.

    The irony of the video is the crew ordered the passengers to stay put in their cabins as the ferry sank. As is customary in hierarchical Korean society, the orders were not questioned.

    However, many of those who escaped alive either did not hear or flouted the instructions and were rescued as they jumped off the deck.

    Of the 476 passengers and crew on board, 339 were children and teachers on a high school outing.

    “Passengers who take our ship to and from Incheon and Jeju can enjoy a safe and pleasant trip and I believe it is safer than any other vehicle as long as they follow the instructions of our crew members,” Lee said in the 2010 promotional video, according to transcripts broadcast by regional cable station OBS.

    The Jeju Today newspaper interviewed Lee in 2004 when he spoke of close shaves at sea including passing through a typhoon and a previous sinking off Japan.

    “The first ship I took was a log carrier vessel and it capsized near Okinawa. A helicopter from Japan’s Self-Defence Force came and rescued me. Had it not been for their help, I wouldn’t be here now.”

    The newspaper did not give further details.


    “I KNOW HOW HE SAID ‘DAD’”

    Parents of the children missing in the accident in what is likely to turn out to be one of South Korea’s worst maritime disasters sat exhausted from days of grief on Monday, waiting for the almost inevitable news that their loved ones had died.

    The have spent all their time since the accident in a gymnasium in the port city of Jindo, taking it in turns to vent their anger at the crew’s inaction and slow pace of the rescue operation.

    One of those waiting in the gymnasium was Kim Chang-gu, whose son Kim Dong-hyup is among the missing.

    “I dream about him and hear hallucinatory sounds,” he told Reuters. “Somebody told me he was alive but I now have given up. I know how he said ‘Dad’. I keep hearing that.”

    Divers are retrieving the 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, prompting wailing and collapses.

    Two U.S. underwater drones have been deployed in the search for bodies, a coastguard official said. Strong tides hampered operations overnight but the weather was better on Monday.

    A clearer picture has started to emerge of the time around the accident after coastguards released a recording of a conversation between vessel controllers and the ship.

    Witnesses have said the Sewol turned sharply before it began listing. It is still not clear why the vessel turned.

    It took more than two hours for it to capsize completely but passengers were ordered to stay put in their cabins.

    According to the transcript, the controllers told the captain to “decide how best to evacuate the passengers” and that he should “make the final decision on whether or not to evacuate”.

    Lee was not on the bridge when the ship turned. Navigation was in the hands of a 26-year old third mate who was in charge for the first time on that part of the journey, according to crew members.

    The transcript shows crew on the ship worried there were not enough rescue boats to take all the passengers. 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.

    Pupils at the children’s school in Ansan, a gritty commuter town on the outskirts of Seoul, set up shrines to the dead and posted messages for the missing.

    The vice-principal of the school, who survived the accident, hanged himself outside the gymnasium in Jindo in another blow to the school. His body was discovered by police on Friday. (Additional reporting by Narae Kim in Seoul; Writing by Nick Macfie; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

    © 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.


    http://gcaptain.com/south-korean-presidents-says-sewol-captain-and-crew-conduct-amounts-to-murder/
     
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  5. anotherdave

    anotherdave Banned

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    I would think that the ship would be a perfect Faraday cage, especially when capsized. But to fake a flood of messages,.. just doesn't make sense.

    Terrible tragedy. There were plenty of rescue boats in the area. If the people would have just got out from below and into the water,..
     
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  6. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    All 15 Navigation Watchstanders from South Korean Ferry Face Prosecution

    By Bloomberg On April 26, 2014



    [​IMG]
    Crew members (front row) of the sunken Sewol ferry stand outside a court in Mokpo, after investigators sought for warrants of their arrest at the court April 26, 2014. (c) REUTERS/Yonhap



    By Kyungji Cho

    April 27 (Bloomberg) — All 15 crew members involved in navigating a South Korean ferry that sank are in custody, the Associated Press reported, as authorities directing the search for bodies said divers had been hampered by severe weather.

    Arrest warrants were sought for the final four members of the vessel Sewol’s navigation team, and the captain and 10 other crew members were already being held, prosecutor Yang Joong Jin said by phone from Mokpo yesterday. Investigators said they are probing whether the ferry turned too quickly or abnormally as it carried 476 people off the Korean peninsula’s southwest coast on April 16.

    The death toll from the sinking of the ferry reached 187 as of 10 a.m. local time yesterday, according to an e-mailed statement from the government. The total missing is 115, AP said. No survivors have been found since the ship sank.

    Before the weather worsened yesterday, the government said more than 100 divers planned to continue trying to find bodies inside the vessel. They would be “focusing on searching the ship’s third and fourth floors,” Ko Myung Suk, director general at the Korea Coast Guard, said at a briefing.

    Captain Lee Joon Seok, 69, wasn’t on the bridge when the Sewol ran into trouble, prosecutor Park Jae Uck said last week. He had assigned the third navigation officer to steer the ship.

    “He may have returned to the wheelhouse as the ferry began tilting,” the prosecutor said.

    Mostly Students

    Most of the missing passengers are from a group of 325 students and 14 teachers from Danwon High School, who were on an excursion to Jeju island.

    The school’s vice principal, Kang Min Kyu, who was on the ferry and survived, was found hanged behind the gymnasium on April 18, police official Lee Sung Hun told reporters.

    The Sewol, which means “time and tide” in Korean, listed and capsized in an area of the ocean as shallow as 20 meters (66 feet) in some parts, based on readings from a coast guard vessel used in the rescue operation. The ship was en route from Incheon to Jeju island, popular with tourists.

    The U.S. will support every effort in the search for passengers and crew of the sunken South Korean ferry, U.S. President Barack Obama said in Seoul yesterday after a meeting with President Park Geun Hye.

    Copyright 2014 Bloomberg.

    http://gcaptain.com/15-navigation-watchstanders-south-korean-ferry-face-prosecution/
     
  7. Goldhedge

    Goldhedge Modal Operator/Moderator Site Mgr Site Supporter

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    The fatal flaw in their society...
     
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  8. Ishkabibble

    Ishkabibble Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Interesting circumstances for a suicide. I don't buy it. That guy was killed. Whether his death was warranted or not depends on your beliefs.
     
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  9. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Sewol Ferry Captain Could Be Facing Life in Prison

    By Bloomberg On April 28, 2014



    [​IMG]
    The South Korean passenger ship Sewol is seen sinking off Jindo, April 16, 2014. REUTERS/Yonhap



    By Cynthia Kim, Rose Kim, and Sam Kim

    April 28 (Bloomberg) — Prosecutors investigating South Korea’s worst maritime disaster in four decades said the captain of the ‘Sewol’ ferry and two crew members are facing a life sentence for abandoning passengers as the vessel sank.

    Homicide through abandonment carries a prison term of three years or more and a life sentence is possible under Korean law. Captain Lee Joon Seok, 68, who wasn’t on the bridge at the time of the incident, the third mate named Park, who was steering the vessel, and a helmsman Cho, who was with Park, face the abandonment charge and others including homicide through occupational negligence, prosecutor Lee Bong Chang said by phone today in Mokpo.

    All 15 crew members involved in navigating the Sewol survived the sinking and all have been arrested. Coast guard footage showed the captain boarding a rescue boat dressed in shorts and no shoes, with other crew members also boarding not wearing their uniforms. YTN TV identified the crew.

    “We couldn’t ask people whether they’re crew or passengers because the situation was too urgent,” Kim Kyung Il, the captain of one of the first coast guard boats to reach the sinking vessel, said in an interview broadcast on YTN. “We didn’t know who was a crew member and who was passenger.”

    Growing public anger prompted Prime Minister Chung Hong Won’s resignation yesterday as polls showed support for President Park Geun Hye and the ruling party slipping and as the country’s major newspapers accused the government of mishandling its response to the tragedy. Most of the 302 dead and missing from the ferry sinking were high school students from the same school, adding to the sense of outrage.

    ‘Heartbroken’

    “These kids were killed because we adults didn’t do things properly,” 72-year-old Kim Sook Ja said as she sat outside a memorial to the victims of Danwon High School, near Seoul, who were on a field trip to Jeju island when the vessel sank. “I’m so put off and angry about this country. I’m just so sorry and so heartbroken.”

    Investigators have said they are probing whether the ferry turned too quickly or abnormally, and whether it was carrying too much cargo, when it listed and sank in an area known for strong currents off the southwest corner of the Korean peninsula. Justice Minister Hwang Kyo Ahn today pledged an overhaul of shipping industry regulations.

    “We will study any structural problems in the shipping industry and overhaul its legal framework to prevent similar disasters,” Hwang said in a parliament committee today. “Given the public anger and the issue’s seriousness, we will actively apply all laws to strictly punish those involved. The ferry’s crew, operator and regulator face severe punishment over any wrongdoings.”

    Ordered to Stay

    Survivors have said the crew gave at least two orders between 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. for passengers to don life jackets and remain in their existing locations. Captain Lee has said those orders were given because lifeboats hadn’t yet arrived and the currents were too strong to evacuate.

    President Park called the actions of the ferry’s crew in abandoning passengers on board “like murder.”

    Prosecutors raided Mokpo Coast Guard today to investigate whether it took immediate action after it received a distress call from a student on the ferry that was transferred via emergency services, Kim Jae In, a senior inspector at Korea Coast Guard’s West Regional Headquarters said in his office. The emergency service control center was also raided.

    The coast guard is still looking at why only one of the 46 lifeboats on the Sewol was properly deployed and why others didn’t auto-inflate when they hit the water, Kim said.

    Three officials at the Korea Shipping Association, which oversees ferry operators, were arrested for destroying evidence before a prosecutors’ raid, Yonhap News reported. The prosecutor handling the case wasn’t immediately available to comment when his office was reached by Bloomberg.

    Company Officials

    Twelve officials from the ferry’s operator Chonghaejin Marine Co. are under investigation, prosecutor Ahn Sang Don told reporters in Mokpo.

    “There are too many irregularities and malpractices in parts of society that have been with us for too long, and I hope those are corrected so that accidents like this will not happen again,” Prime Minister Chung said in a televised briefing yesterday to announce his resignation. “I apologize to the nation for the government’s failure to prevent the ferry disaster and to handle the accident properly.”

    Chung’s resignation should mark the “beginning of holding those involved accountable,” the JoongAng Ilbo newspaper said in an editorial today. “Given the gravity of the situation and the people’s anger, it will not be enough even if every member of the cabinet steps down.”

    Growing Anger

    Public anger has begun to erode President Park’s approval rating, which slipped to 57 percent as of April 25, down from 71 percent on April 18, the day after she visited victims’ relatives near the site of the sinking, according to Seoul-based polling company Realmeter. Support for Park’s ruling New Frontier or Saenuri Party has also fallen, by 4.7 percentage points to 48.7 percent. The opposition’s approval rate rose to 28.1 percent from 26.9 percent.

    South Korea holds metropolitan, provincial and municipal elections in June, including the capital Seoul.

    University student Park Ji Hun said he’s unlikely to vote after becoming disillusioned with both the government and politicians in general after the incident.

    “We grown-ups are all in one way or another responsible for those students’ deaths,” Park, 23, said while standing in line for the memorial altar in Ansan, close to Danwon High School. “Those kids trusted us grown-ups and we failed them. We messed up big time.”

    National Mourning

    More than two-thirds of the passengers on the Sewol belonged to a group of 339 students and teachers from Danwon. Across the country, spring festivals and concerts have been canceled in a period of national mourning over the incident, Korea’s worst maritime disaster since the ‘Namyoung’ ferry sank in 1970, killing 323.

    Almost 150,000 people have visited the memorial altar to offer their condolences, the Gyeonggi provincial government said yesterday. Mourners were still lining up today to receive a yellow ribbon that reads “one little movement will bring big miracles” from volunteers. Each visitor puts a white chrysanthemum in front of rows of photographs of the deceased.

    “Everyone in the country has been shocked and saddened by the ferry disaster,” Prime Minister Chung said yesterday. “It’s been more than 10 days but there are still missing people.”

    Victims’ relatives shouted and threw water bottles at Chung, who will remain in office until the government’s response has concluded, as he visited them at a gymnasium in Jindo, near the site of the ferry sinking, hours after the incident on April 16.

    Former Prosecutor

    Park selected Chung, a former prosecutor, as prime minister in February 2013 after her first choice Kim Yong Jun withdrew his candidacy over allegations of suspicious real estate dealings involving his family. In South Korea, the post is mainly representative, though Park pledged to bolster the role at the time of Chung’s nomination.

    There are also signs of tension at the scene of the ferry sinking, where divers have been hampered by strong currents and visibility of as little as 20 centimeters (8 inches) as they search the submerged 6,825-ton, five-deck vessel.

    The official death toll of 189 will probably rise to 302, as no survivors have been found since 174 of the 476 passengers and crew were rescued on the day of the sinking. Seven divers are ill, mainly from decompression sickness, coast guard official Ko Myung Suk said in a televised briefing.

    Volunteer Divers

    The briefing was interrupted by a volunteer diver protesting Ko’s comments from April 24 that the government would begin limiting access to volunteers because they were hampering rescue efforts. Most couldn’t handle strong currents and low visibility and some left after only taking photos, Ko said at the time.

    At the Jindo gymnasium, the number of victims’ relatives has dwindled since the days following the tragedy. Still, more than 100 remain, many lying or sitting on the floor with blankets while volunteers offer food and drinks outside. The walls along the entrance are covered with messages of hope for the return of the missing students.

    “I wish I had you in my arms more often,” said one. “I’m sorry, and thank you. I miss you, my son.”

    –With assistance from Kyungji Cho, Shinhye Kang, Seonjin Cha and Eunkyung Seo in Seoul.

    Copyright 2014 Bloomberg.


    http://gcaptain.com/sewol-ferry-captain-could-be-facing-life-in-prison/
     
  10. Publico

    Publico Banned

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    The captain should be hung. Just like that Italian captain. Then people would pay little more attention to detail.
     
  11. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Lifeboats, Liferafts and the Sunken Ferry M/V SEWOL

    By Fred On April 29, 2014



    On April 16, 2014 the Korean-flagged passenger ferry M/V SEWOL sank resulting in a large loss of life of the passengers.


    [​IMG]

    While this story will continue to develop as this disaster is investigated, there are a number of questions that should be included as part of the investigation. In relation to the disaster, these are mere side-questions, in that I do not think that the answers would have changed the outcome. That said, I think these may indicate serious issues that should be investigated:


    Did a lack of lifeboats on the M/V SEWOL contribute to the loss of life?

    Many passengers on the infamous TITANIC died because the regulations at the time did not require a place in the lifeboats for every passenger and member of the crew. Take a look at the SEWOL in the photo above. The ship had no lifeboats. Instead, it fully relied on liferafts for the safe evacuation of the passengers. This might mean that Korean authorities permitted substitution of liferafts for lifeboats. Again, looking at the photo above, there does not appear to be any boats that would have been able to marshall the rafts together.


    Was it possible for the crew to evacuate the passengers using only the available liferafts?

    When evacuating passengers with lifeboats, the loading of one lifeboat does not prevent the loading of other lifeboats. Liferafts sharing launching appliances (equipment required to hold and lower the liferaft) limit the loading and launching of liferafts to one at a time for each set of launching gear. The liferafts on the SEWOL appear to not have launching gear and seem to be setup to drop into the sea once released from their cradles.

    There has been news reports that the liferafts might have been faulty. However, I suspect that the persons making the claims do not fully understand how these liferafts were setup to function. For example, the photos of the Captain abandoning ship show two of the liferaft canisters released from their cradles and floating in the water. The rafts had not inflated. However, this was probably by design, with the raft requiring the user to pull out the painter line from the canister which will trigger the inflation once most of it has been pulled out. As for the complaints that the canisters would not come free from their cradles, again, I suspect operator error.

    The liferafts do not appear to have been equally distributed on each side of the vessel. As the vessel was listing to the port, only 14 rafts appear to have been located on that side, with another 28 trapped on the high side of the vessel.


    Would placement of the liferafts have been an issue?

    Take a look at the photo below (Screenshot from video in the following post: Phone Recovered from Deceased Child Reveals Shocking Error by Sewol Crew).

    In the photo you can see 14 liferaft canisters on the port (left) side just behind the bridge. From the photo, it appears that there are another 28 rafts on the starboard side for a total of 42 rafts visible on the deck. Some news reports claim that the vessel had 46 liferafts. This would leave only another 4 rafts to be positioned elsewhere on the vessel. So you are looking at the majority of the vessel’s liferafts in this photo. It is not clear to me where those 4 remaining liferafts were located.


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    It is also not clear how passengers were supposed to board these liferafts.

    If I had to guess, definitely not anywhere near where they were stored. There are no ladders. There does not appear to be any inflatable slides there either, however they could have been located elsewhere on the vessel. Looking at other photos of the vessel, there does not appear to be any obvious place for passengers to board liferafts once they were launched/dropped into the sea. If there were slides further aft, what was the procedure for marshalling the liferafts to an embarkation point? Given that the hull below where the liferafts were located does not have any obvious embarkation areas, they must have been located further aft.

    Where were the passengers expected to muster to abandon ship? Also, shouldn’t crewmembers have been stationed at the rafts? Who should have been there and where were they during this accident?


    How would weather impact an evacuation from this vessel?

    The seas at the time of the accident were calm. There are reports of swift currents in the area. Without a means to marshall the liferafts, how was the crew expected to deal with this problem? How much more difficult would it have been to carry out an evacuation of this vessel in rough seas?


    Did cost play a role in the Captain’s decision-making?

    The decision to abandon ship is a serious one. However there is a difference depending on whether you are evacuating passengers into rafts or lifeboats. There is no added cost to launching lifeboats. Lifeboats are also retrievable. There is however a cost to launching a liferaft. Once a raft is opened it will have to be serviced and re-packed. Popping open 46 liferaft canisters would have been a considerable cost. Perhaps it was a cost the captain was trying to avoid at first, when there would have been questions regarding whether the vessel would right itself.
    A couple of points to keep in mind:



    1. This vessel was on a domestic voyage and as such International safety rules would only apply as far as the South Korean authorities would apply them.
    2. I am not suggesting that there was anything illegal regarding the use of liferafts only. For this vessel to operate, the relevant Flag-State authorities would have approved of the lifesaving equipment installed on the vessel.
    3. These questions are limited solely to events after the initial incident or investigation.
    4. Lifeboat Regulations are covered in SOLOS. I leave it to a SOLAS expert to explain the requirements that this vessel would have had to comply with.
    5. It appears that many passengers died from being trapped within the vessel. Simply mustering on deck would have provided an opportunity to abandon ship and be rescued with or without access to a lifraft or lifeboat.
    6. This post represents solely my opinion. My opinion at the moment consists mainly of questions.



    This article should not be taken as a generic position against liferafts. I have to say that I started the article with that thought in mind.

    However, this article was written with the SEWOL incident only in mind. There are some very impressive, efficient and effective liferaft evacuation systems out there. Liferafts and lifeboats are equipment. Equipment that was not used during this accident.

    Above all else, why there was no evacuation is a question that definitely needs to be answered.



    http://gcaptain.com/lifeboats-liferafts-sunken-ferry-mv-sewol/
     
  12. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    South Korea ferry was routinely overloaded

    [​IMG]By YOUKYUNG LEE
    16 hours ago



    [​IMG]
    A relative of a passenger aboard the sunken Sewol ferry stands as she awaits news on her missing loved one at a port in Jindo, South Korea, Wednesday, April 30, 2014. Two weeks after the ferry sank off South Korea's southern cost, divers have recovered over 200 bodies from the wreckage, but they fought strong currents and floating debris inside the ship Wednesday as they searched for 90 passengers still missing. (AP Photo/Yonhap) KOREA OUT


    INCHEON, South Korea (AP) — The doomed ferry Sewol exceeded its cargo limit on 246 trips — nearly every voyage it made in which it reported cargo — in the 13 months before it sank, according to documents that reveal the regulatory failures that allowed passengers by the hundreds to set off on an unsafe vessel. And it may have been more overloaded than ever on its final journey.

    One private, industry-connected entity recorded the weights. Another set the weight limit. Neither appears to have had any idea what the other was doing. And they are but two parts of a maritime system that failed passengers April 16 when the ferry sank, leaving more than 300 people missing or dead.

    The disaster has exposed enormous safety gaps in South Korea's monitoring of domestic passenger ships, which is in some ways less rigorous than its rules for ships that handle only cargo. Collectively, the country's regulators held more than enough information to conclude that the Sewol was routinely overloaded, but because they did not share that data and were not required to do so, it was practically useless.

    The Korean Register of Shipping examined the Sewol early last year as it was being redesigned to handle more passengers. The register slashed the ship's cargo capacity by more than half, to 987 tons, and said the vessel needed to carry more than 2,000 tons of water to stay balanced.

    But the register gave its report only to the ship owner, Chonghaejin Marine Co. Ltd. Neither the coast guard nor the Korean Shipping Association, which regulates and oversees departures and arrivals of domestic passenger ships, appear to have had any knowledge of the new limit before the disaster.

    "That's a blind spot in the law," said Lee Kyu-Yeul, professor emeritus at Seoul National University's Department of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering.

    Chonghaejin reported much greater cargo capacity to the shipping association: 3,963 tons, according to a coast guard official in Incheon who had access to the documentation but declined to release it.

    Since the redesigned ferry began operating in March 2013, it made nearly 200 round trips — 394 individual voyages — from Incheon port near Seoul to the southern island of Jeju. On 246 of those voyages, the Sewol exceeded the 987-ton limit, according to documents from Incheon port.

    The limit may have been exceeded even more frequently than that. In all but one of the other 148 trips, zero cargo was recorded. It is not mandatory for passenger ferries to report cargo to the port operator, which gathers the information to compile statistics and not for safety purposes.

    More than 2,000 tons of cargo was reported on 136 of the Sewol's trips, and it topped 3,000 tons 12 times. But the records indicate it never carried as much as it did on its final disastrous voyage: Moon Ki-han, a vice president at Union Transport Co, the company that loaded the ship, has said it was carrying an estimated 3,608 tons of cargo.

    The port operator has no record of the cargo from the Sewol's last voyage. Ferry operators submit that information only after trips are completed. In that respect, the rules for domestic passenger ships are looser than those for cargo-only vessels, which must report cargo before they depart.

    Details from the port documents were first reported by the South Korean newspaper Kukmin Daily.

    In paperwork filed before the Sewol's last voyage, Capt. Lee Joon-seok reported a much smaller final load than the one Moon described, according to a Coast Guard official who had access to the report but refused to provide a copy to the Associated Press. The paperwork said the Sewol was loaded with 150 cars and 657 tons of cargo.

    That would fall within the 987-ton limit, but it's clearly inaccurate: The coast guard has found 180 cars in the water.

    An official with the Korea Shipping Association's safety team said it is beyond the association's capacity to determine whether a ship is carrying too much cargo. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't allowed to discuss the Sewol case as it is being investigated.

    "What we can do is to see the load line is not submerged," he said. The load line, a marking on the outside of a vessel, indicates whether a ship is overloaded, but it does not show whether it has the sort of balance between cargo and ballast that the register report said was necessary.

    "The only person on any vessel who knows the exact cargo safety limit, excluding ballast water, fuel, passengers and others, is the first mate," the official said.

    All 15 surviving crew members involved in the ferry's navigation have been arrested, accused of negligence and failing to protect passengers. Prosecutors also detained three employees of the ferry owner who handled cargo, and have raided the offices of the ship owner, the shipping association and the register. Heads of the shipping association and the register offered to resign in the wake of the disaster.

    The cause of the sinking remains under investigation, but experts have said that if the ship were severely overloaded, even a small turn could cause it to lose its balance. Tracking data show the ship made a 45-degree turn around the time it began sinking; crew members have reportedly said that something went wrong with the steering as they attempted a much less severe turn.

    Some experts say the Sewol never should have been cleared to operate after last year's redesign because the owner would not be able to make money under the register's new cargo limits.

    The ferry operator "was trying to make a profit by overloading cargos," said Kim Gil-soo, a professor at Korea Maritime and Ocean University in Busan, "and public agencies that should have monitored did not monitor that."

    According to South Korean law, the association may report violations to either the coast guard or the state-run port operator, but both entities said they were never told of excessive cargo on the Sewol. The shipping association has refused to say how often it has reported violations.

    A coast guard official said the shipping association should have reported any excessive cargo to the operator of Incheon port, where the Sewol last departed. An official with the port operator says it is the coast guard that should have been alerted. The coast guard official spoke on condition of anonymity, saying he was not authorized to speak about matters under investigation; the port official refused to provide his name.

    South Korea, unlike many other countries, relies on a private industry-affiliated body to determine whether a ship is safe to sail. The shipping association, whose members are shipping companies and ship operators, took on that responsibility in 1973, following a 1970 sinking in which about 320 people died.

    Captains submit paperwork to the association indicating how much cargo is on board as well as crew and passengers.

    The shipping association, which also oversees crew education, is partly government-funded, but its biggest business is selling insurance to its members.

    Its website says about 75 percent of its 110 billion won ($107 million) budget for 2014 was allocated to its insurance department. The budget for the department dealing with domestic passenger ship safety was 7.4 billion won ($7.2 million). The association has 71 safety inspectors at 13 South Korean ports and its headquarters.

    Many of the association's high-level officials come from the Ministry of Ocean and Fisheries, which some say makes it tough for the ministry to scrutinize the group. Ministry officials may be reluctant to question association officials who are former senior public servants, or even their former bosses.

    The register, which made the cargo limit evaluation, also is a private entity.

    In Europe, North America and Japan, regulation is generally done by public bodies such as the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.K.'s Maritime and Coastal Agency. In Japan, the government checks ships once a year, and conducts unannounced inspections of crew qualification and emergency training.

    At the same time, it's common for governments to rely on ship captains to report their loads accurately. It would be virtually impossible to check every boat, experts say.

    Since the Sewol disaster, the oceans ministry has been considering taking the job of overseeing passenger-ship safety away from the shipping association, ministry official Kwon Jun-young said. Kwon said they are discussing which agency or agencies should take up on the job.

    ___

    Associated Press writers Jung-yoon Choi in Seoul, Sylvia Hui in London and Yuri Kageyama in Tokyo contributed to this report.


    http://news.yahoo.com/south-korea-ferry-routinely-overloaded-052148040--finance.html
     
  13. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    South Korean Diver Dies During Search of Sunken Ferry

    By Reuters On May 5, 2014



    [​IMG]
    A diver from the South Korean Navy’s Ship Salvage Unit (SSU) puts on a diving helmet before a rescue and search operation for the missing passengers onboard the sunken passenger ship Sewol in the sea off Jindo April 26, 2014. File image (c) REUTERS/Yonhap



    [​IMG]
    By Narae Kim



    SEOUL, May 6 (Reuters) – A diver lost consciousness and died on Tuesday during the search operation for victims still missing
    after last month’s South Korean ferry disaster.

    The diver had lost radio contact five minutes after diving to fix guideline ropes on the fifth deck of the sunken ferry,
    according to Ko Myung-seok, spokesman for the government’s emergency task force.

    He was unable to breathe by himself when he was brought to the surface, and his death was later confirmed at a hospital.

    The dead man had been working for Undine Marine Industries, the company brought in to lead search efforts on the Sewol
    ferry, which capsized and sank about 20 km (12 miles) off the southwest coast of South Korea on April 16 with 476 passengers
    and crew on board.

    Among the passengers were 339 were children and teachers on a high school outing to the southern island of Jeju. Only 174
    people have been rescued. The confirmed death toll is 263, with 39 still missing.

    An investigation is ongoing and amid rising indignation over the government’s handling of the disaster, President Park Geun-hye voiced criticism on Tuesday of the role played by the ferry operator and government officials.

    “Safety rules that must be observed were not followed because of worldly desires and irresponsible acts that tolerated those injustices have resulted in death,” she said during her address at a temple in Seoul on Tuesday to celebrate Buddha’s birthday.

    She promised to fundamentally change national policies and systems to improve safety and to clean up malpractices to ensure businesses and government officials comply with requirements.

    President Park visited the families of the ferry victims on Sunday afternoon in Paengmok port in Jindo for the second time
    since the tragedy.

    Her approval rating had slipped to 53 percent as of May 5, 12 percent down for the two weeks after the disaster, according to Seoul-based polling company Realmeter.

    (Additional Reporting by Ju-min Park; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

    (c) 2014 Thomson Reuters, All Rights Reserved

    http://gcaptain.com/south-korean-diver-dies-search-sunken-ferry/
     
  14. nickndfl

    nickndfl Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    By the third time they should get it right. My Samsung tv and Galaxy phone are pretty good. They need to invent something to stabilize a boat.
     
  15. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Captain of Sunken Korean Ferry Charged With Murder

    By Reuters On May 15, 2014



    [​IMG]
    South Korean ferry “Sewol” is seen sinking in the sea off Jindo April 16, 2014, in this picture provided by Korea Coast Guard and released by Yonhap. Almost 300 people were missing after a ferry sank off South Korea on Wednesday, the coastguard said, in what could be the country’s biggest peacetime disaster in nearly 20 years. (c) REUTERS/Korea Coast Guard/Yonhap




    [​IMG]

    By Ju-min Park

    MOKPO, South Korea, May 15 (Reuters) – The captain and three senior crew members of a South Korean ferry that capsized in April, killing more than 280 passengers, many of them school children, were indicted for homicide on Thursday, a senior prosecutor said.

    Prosecutors also indicted the 11 other surviving crew members of the ferry Sewol on negligence charges. The crew has been under criminal investigation after they were believed to have escaped the sinking vessel before many passengers.

    “The captain, a first officer and second officer and the chief engineer escaped before the passengers, leading to grave casualties,” prosecutor Ahn Sang-don, who is leading the investigation, told a news briefing.

    Ahn said the Sewol was severely compromised in its ability to maintain stability after a remodelling to add capacity, and had set sail on April 16 massively overloaded and with insufficient water in the ballast tanks used to keep it steady.

    Strong currents in the disaster zone made the vessel less responsive to navigation and prompted the crew to make a turn of 15 degrees, sharper than advisable, which led the ferry to list rapidly and then sink, he said.

    “The captain should have been in command of the navigation, but left that to a third officer, and that is gross negligence,” Ahn said, adding there was enough evidence to support a charge of willful negligence on the part of the captain and three other officers.

    “The charge of homicide was applied because they did not exercise their duty of aid and relief, leading to the deaths of passengers,” he said, adding that some crew had confessed “they were thinking about their own lives.”

    The Sewol was on a routine journey from the mainland port of Incheon to the southern holiday island of Jeju.

    Of the 476 passengers and crew on board, 339 were children and their teachers on a school trip. Only 172 people were rescued, with the rest presumed to have drowned.

    A month after the disaster, 281 bodies have been recovered but 23 people remain missing, even as rescue divers continue to search the vessel.

    Some of the crew, including the captain, were caught on videotape abandoning ship while the children were repeatedly told to stay put in their cabins and await further orders.

    The government of President Park Geun-hye has faced sharp criticism for its handling of the disaster and the rescue effort, with an outpouring of anger over suggestions that a more effective initial response could have saved many more.

    Prosecutors are seeking the arrest of members of the family that owns the ferry operator, and may also seek the extradition of a son of the reclusive head of the family from the United States, an official said on Thursday.

    Prosecutors are also investigating officials of shipping inspection agencies and the operator of the ferry. The crew members’ first court date has yet to be set. (Writing by Jack Kim; Editing by Choonsik Yoo, Alex Richardson and Clarence Fernandez)


    (c) 2014 Thomson Reuters, All Rights Reserved

    http://gcaptain.com/captain-sunken-korean-ferry-charged-with-murder/
     
  16. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Captain of Doomed South Korean Ferry Apologises For Failure to Rescue Children


    By Reuters On October 8, 2014



    [​IMG]
    Lee Joon-seok, captain of sunken ferry Sewol, arrives at a court in Gwangju June 10, 2014. REUTERS/Korea Pool/Yonhap



    [​IMG]
    SEOUL, Oct 8 (Reuters) –



    The captain of a South Korean ferry that capsized in April killing about 300 people, most of them school children, apologised in court on Wednesday for his failure to rescue passengers in the country’s worst maritime disaster for decades.

    “I have committed a grave crime. I am sorry,” Lee Joon-seok, the 68-year-old captain, was quoted as saying by Yonhap News Agency.

    Anger and grief gripped the nation after the disaster, and President Park Geun-hye’s government was heavily criticised for what was seen as a botched rescue operation.

    The overloaded ferry Sewol had capsized while making a turn on a routine voyage to the holiday island of Jeju. The victims totalled 304 people killed or missing.

    Lee was among 15 crew members accused of abandoning the sharply listing ferry after telling the passengers to stay put in their cabins.
    Four, including the captain face homicide charges. Lee has denied any intent to kill.

    The rest face lesser charges, including negligence.

    “I know I can’t get out of the prison no matter how much my lawyer and God help me. But I can’t have my children and grandchildren called a murderer’s family,” Lee said.

    “I have never had any intent to kill.”

    Video footage of the crew abandoning the vessel after instructing the passengers, mostly teenagers, to remain in their cabins caused outrage across South Korea.

    Some crew drank beer while waiting for rescue, one of them told a court, in an admission that fuelled greater anger at their conduct during a critical time during the disaster.

    The court is expected to rule in November.

    In the wake of the disaster, South Korean police launched the country’s largest-ever manhunt for Yoo Byung-un, the head of the family that owned the ferry operator, and his family and associates.

    Yoo was wanted on charges including embezzlement and negligence that prosecutors contend contributed to the disaster.

    Yoo was found dead in a plum orchard in June, but his body was not identified for more than a month, despite being the focus of a nationwide search. Forensics have failed to identify the cause of death.

    Kim Hye-kyung, a close aide of Yoo, was captured in the United States on charges of embezzlement and brought back to Korean authorities on Tuesday. Prosecutors view Kim as a key person managing Yoo’s funds.

    Prosecutors sought on Thursday a four-year prison sentence for Yoo’s first son, according to local media. His second son is still at large.

    (Reporting by Ju-min Park; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)
    (c) 2014 Thomson Reuters, All Rights Reserved


    http://gcaptain.com/captain-doomed-south-korean-ferry-apologises-failure-rescue-children/
     
    EO 11110 likes this.
  17. EO 11110

    EO 11110 He Hate Me Mother Lode

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    a whole list of crazy stuff at the end of search's post:



    In the wake of the disaster, South Korean police launched the country’s largest-ever manhunt for Yoo Byung-un, the head of the family that owned the ferry operator, and his family and associates.

    Yoo was wanted on charges including embezzlement and negligence that prosecutors contend contributed to the disaster.

    Yoo was found dead in a plum orchard in June, but his body was not identified for more than a month, despite being the focus of a nationwide search. Forensics have failed to identify the cause of death.

    Kim Hye-kyung, a close aide of Yoo, was captured in the United States on charges of embezzlement and brought back to Korean authorities on Tuesday. Prosecutors view Kim as a key person managing Yoo’s funds.

    Prosecutors sought on Thursday a four-year prison sentence for Yoo’s first son, according to local media. His second son is still at large.


    ???????????
     
    lumpOgold and searcher like this.
  18. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Prosecutors Seek Death Penalty for Sewol Captain


    By Reuters On October 27, 2014




    [​IMG]
    Lee Joon-seok, captain of sunken ferry Sewol, arrives at a court in Gwangju June 10, 2014. REUTERS/Korea Pool/Yonhap



    [​IMG]
    By Ju-min Park



    GWANGJU, South Korea, Oct 27 (Reuters) – South Korean prosecutors on Monday sought the death penalty for the captain of a ferry that capsized in April, leaving 304 people, most of them school children, dead or missing, in a trial of 15 crew who abandoned ship before it sank.

    Lee Joon-seok, 68, charged with homicide, should be sentenced to death for failing to carry out his duty, which in effect amounted to homicide, the prosecution told the court before resting its case in a trial that has taken place amid intense public anger.

    Sentiment turned sharply hostile after evidence surfaced that the mostly teenage passengers waited in their cabins, obediently following orders, as the crew escaped.

    Lee was among 15 accused of abandoning the sharply listing ferry. Four, including the captain, face homicide charges.

    The rest face lesser charges, including negligence. A three-judge panel is expected to announce its verdicts in November. No formal pleas have been made but Lee has denied intent to kill.

    “Lee supplied the cause of the sinking of the Sewol … he has the heaviest responsibility for the accident,” the lead prosecutor in the case, Park Jae-eok, told the court in the south of the country.

    “We ask that the court sentence him to death.”

    The prosecutors sought life sentences for the other three charged with homicide and prison terms ranging from 15 to 30 years for the rest.

    The Sewol capsized and sank on a routine voyage on April 16, triggering an outpouring of nationwide grief and sharp criticism of the government of President Park Geun-hye for its handling of the rescue operation.

    The crew on trial have said they thought it was the coast guard’s job to evacuate passengers. Video footage of their escape triggered outrage, especially after survivors testified they repeatedly told passengers to stay put.

    After the prosecution rested its case, Lee apologized to the families of the victims, saying he never intended to harm anyone.

    “I will repent until the day I die and ask for the victims’ families’ forgiveness,” he said. “I swear with my hand over my heart, I did not intend to kill anyone. I never even thought of such a thing.”

    Most of the crew were represented by state-appointed lawyers, who argued that the defendants were mostly too badly trained to handle the disaster.

    Some family members of victims who attended Monday’s hearing had called for the death penalty, but Amnesty International said death was not the answer.

    The Justice Ministry said 58 people were currently on death row. The country last carried out executions in December 1997, when 23 were hanged.

    “While the South Korean court system has a reputation for being fair, as do other legal systems around the world where the death penalty still exists, public opinion can still creep in,” Amnesty International’s director of research for East Asia, Roseann Rife, said.

    “…The Sewol ferry accident was a great tragedy and if negligence or human error was involved, those responsible should be held to account. But the death penalty is not a solution.” (Additional reporting by James Pearson in SEOUL; writing by Jack Kim; Editing by Nick Macfie)


    (c) 2014 Thomson Reuters, All Rights Reserved


    http://gcaptain.com/prosecutors-seek-death-penalty-sewol-captain/
     
  19. argentos

    argentos Former Boat Owner Gold Chaser

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    So where are the vessel's owners in this case?
     
  20. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Court Mulling Death Penalty for Sewol Ferry Captain Stirs Bitter Memory


    By Bloomberg On November 10, 2014





    [​IMG]
    Lee Joon-seok, captain of sunken ferry Sewol, arrives at a court in Gwangju June 10, 2014. REUTERS/Korea Pool/Yonhap




    By Sam Kim

    Nov. 11 (Bloomberg) — After his mother was killed in a 1970 ferry sinking in South Korea, Nah Jong Ryeol spent four decades documenting the disaster in hopes of preventing another tragedy. Then the Sewol sank in April killing 304 people.

    For Nah, a 65-year-old retired government worker, the Sewol disaster and the current trial of its crew have forced him to relive the loss of his mother on the Namyoung, the country’s worst maritime accident. Nah, a college student at the time, has spent his life trying to keep the memory of the Namyoung alive and build a seaside monument to its more than 320 victims.

    “For 40 years people cared little about the Namyoung,” Nah said in an interview. “That’s how the Sewol came to happen. Families of the Namyoung victims are asking today, would the Sewol have happened if we had been allowed to speak freely, console the souls of the victims with a harbor monument and made the government educate the public well?”

    A judge delivers his verdict today in the murder trial of the Sewol captain. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Captain Lee Joon Seok, as they did with the skipper of the Namyoung. In that case, the judge sentenced the captain to two and a half years, saying he didn’t intend to commit homicide, a sentence that angered many of the families.

    “Justice should be carried out as justice should be carried out — fairly,” Nah said in a phone interview from Jeju, where the Sewol was headed when it sank and from where the Namyoung departed 44 years ago. “What really matters is that we don’t forget these tragedies.

    Had we remembered the lessons from the Namyoung sinking, the Sewol wouldn’t have gone down.”


    Professional Negligence

    South Korea hasn’t executed anyone since 1997 and the court in Gwangju, about 160 miles (260 kilometers) south of Seoul, is unlikely to hand down the death penalty because this is a case of negligence, Kang Wu Ye, a professor of law at the Korea Maritime and Ocean University in Busan, said by phone. Professional negligence resulting in death is punishable by up to life in prison in South Korea if no rescue efforts were made in a maritime accident, according to the website of the Ministry of Government Legislation.

    “It’s true an overwhelming number of people died in this case,” Kang said. “But the court has the duty to stand by the law no matter how atrocious a crime might seem.”

    The two sinkings are South Korea’s deadliest maritime disasters and have more in common than just the request for the death penalty. In both cases the ships were overloaded, contributing to their capsizing. After the Sewol disaster President Park Geun Hye faced the wrath of grieving families, while with the Namyoung, it was her father Park Chung Hee, who was in power.



    School Trip

    The Sewol capsized off the southwest coast on April 16 and most of the victims were high school students on a class trip. Parents were initially told that all the children had survived, only to learn within hours that 250 students were missing.

    In his final court statement on Oct. 27, prosecutor Park Jae Eok said Sewol captain Lee avoided issuing an evacuation order because he was concerned the passengers would hamper his escape.

    Public anger over the Sewol disaster sent President Park’s approval rating tumbling to its lowest in more than a year and depressed consumer confidence and spending. Days after the sinking she called the actions of the crew “like murder.” In May, prosecutors charged Lee and three crew members with homicide.

    The captain’s court-appointed lawyer, Lee Kwang Jae, asked the judge for “mercy” on Oct. 27. The attorney said he didn’t know what punishment would alleviate people’s anger.



    Individual Grief

    If the court agreed to the death penalty, Park would have to approve the execution, which would be the first in South Korea in 17 years. During the 2012 presidential campaign she opposed repealing the death penalty, saying its existence serves as a warning to those who “perpetrate atrocities unacceptable by any means.”

    “Public opinion can always creep in in such high-profile cases,” Jan Wetzel, a senior policy adviser at Amnesty International in Hong Kong, said by phone. “Public opinion is not a good yardstick for the administration of justice. Public opinion quite often is, as we’ve seen in this case, rooted in present-day developments and emotions and individual grief.”

    For the victims of the Namyoung, the trial is evoking painful memories that many are reluctant to talk about publicly, Nah said.

    “Even now the families of the Namyoung victims are remaining silent because they are afraid people would accuse them of using the Sewol as a chance to speak about their own pain. There’s only one thing we want. We want people to remember the Namyoung and honor the victims.”


    Copyright 2014 Bloomberg.


    http://gcaptain.com/court-mulling-death-penalty-for-sewol-ferry-captain-stirs-bitter-memory/
     
  21. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Sewol Ferry Captain Spared Death Penalty, Sentenced to 36 Years in Prison


    By Bloomberg On November 11, 2014




    [​IMG]
    Rescue boats sail around the South Korean passenger ship “Sewol” which sank, during their rescue operation in the sea off Jindo, in this April 17, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon




    By Sam Kim

    Nov. 11 (Bloomberg) — The captain of the South Korean ferry that sank in April was sentenced to 36 years in prison for not doing enough to save passengers in the country’s worst maritime disaster in more than four decades.

    Judge Lim Joung Youb said Captain Lee Joon Seok, 69, could have saved many more lives had he tried to evacuate the passengers before abandoning ship. Lee was acquitted of homicide charges that could have brought a death sentence. Most of the victims were high school students on a class trip, and only 172 of the 476 people on board survived the April 16 sinking.

    “Lee should have immediately ordered an evacuation,” Judge Lim said. “His neglecting to take measures to save the passengers resulted in numerous deaths as a devastating consequence and led many families to live in misery for the rest of their lives.”

    Some family members sobbed in the courtroom after the verdict was read.

    “Is this justice!” Kim Hyun Dong, who lost his daughter in the sinking, shouted after the judge left, yelling curses as guards stood at each side of the courtroom. “What kind of prank is this? Bring back our kids alive!”

    Prosecutors had sought the death penalty, saying Lee deliberately avoided issuing an evacuation order because he was worried the passengers would hamper his escape. The court did find the chief engineer, Park Gi Ho, guilty of homicide and sentenced him to 30 years in prison on the grounds that he didn’t help two dying crew members.


    Lives Neglected

    “Of course the captain deserves the death penalty” said Lee Jong Chul, 47, whose son died on the Sewol. “Whatever the crew members get won’t be enough for the lives they neglected.”

    Lee has spent more than 120 days living in a tent city in central Seoul set up to pressure the government for a thorough investigation of the accident.

    “What’s more important for us families is not just about punishing those that were involved in the accident,” he said. “We demand the government do an extended investigation that will reveal the truth about what really happened.”

    The trial at Gwangju District Court, about 260 kilometers (160 miles) south of Seoul, has riveted a nation still reeling from the tragedy that fueled public anger at President Park Geun Hye over her handling of the disaster. Her approval rating tumbled to its lowest in more than a year in the wake of the sinking. Days after the disaster she called the actions of the crew “like murder” and in May bowed in apology during a public address to the nation.


    Plea for Mercy

    In addition to the captain and chief engineer, 13 other crew members were sentenced to between five and 20 years today.

    The captain’s court-appointed lawyer, Lee Kwang Jae, asked the judge for “mercy” on Oct. 27. The attorney said he didn’t know what punishment would alleviate people’s anger.

    The ferry was heading to the resort island of Jeju when it listed and sank off the country’s southwestern coast. While many in the crew abandoned ship, the passengers were told to stay in their cabins after the Sewol first started sinking. Parents of the high school students were initially told that all the children had survived, only to learn within hours that 250 students were missing.

    Overloading and a redesign that left the vessel unstable have been blamed for contributing to the incident, which occurred in an area of ocean notorious for its strong currents.

    (An earlier version of this story was corrected to show the captain was guilty of criminal negligence rather than professional negligence.)


    –With assistance from Heesu Lee in Seoul.


    Copyright 2014 Bloomberg.

    http://gcaptain.com/sewol-ferry-captain-sentenced-to-36-years-in-prison/
     
  22. gringott

    gringott Killed then Resurrected Midas Member Site Supporter

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    I can't even imagine the grief the family members must feel.
     
  23. viking

    viking Silver Member Silver Miner

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    Overloaded.. And no one in management jailed...

    Do people not realize crews are pressured with termination for not following orders, especially in a country like Korea, I lived there BTW.
     
  24. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    South Korea Preparing Sewol Salvage Task Force – Reports


    By Mike Schuler On November 17, 2014




    [​IMG]
    Rescue workers operate near floats where the capsized passenger ship “Sewol” sank off Jindo. REUTERS/Issei Kato




    The South Korean government is preparing a task force to examine options for salvaging the sunken Sewol ferry, according to local media reports.

    The task force will comprise of government and civilian experts and will be expected to provide a technical analysis of how to best salvage the vessel, according to The Korea Herald. The task force will not include members from any salvage companies, as such organizations may lack objectivity, the report said. Work could even begin as early as next week.

    The Sewol ferry sank April 16 off Jindo Island in the South Jeolla Province, killing more than 300 people.

    A final decision on whether or not the ferry will even be salvaged at all has not yet been made.

    The search for the nine people still missing was called off earlier this month.


    http://gcaptain.com/south-korea-preparing-sewol-salvage-task-force-reports/
     
  25. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    South Korea Launches New Agency to Replace Disbanded Coast Guard


    By Reuters On November 18, 2014




    [​IMG]
    South Korean rescue workers operating near floats where Sewol sank during a rescue operation in Jindo April 24, 2014. REUTERS/Yonhap




    [​IMG]
    SEOUL, Nov 18 (Reuters) –


    South Korea launches a massive new government agency this week to handle emergency rescue and safety management seven months after a ferry disaster killed 304 people and was blamed by President Park Geun-hye on a failed response by the coast guard.

    The coast guard is being broken up and its search and rescue duties are being moved to the new National Safety Agency that will have more than 10,000 staff and incorporate fire and emergency response teams, the government said on Tuesday.

    The Sewol capsized and sank on April 16 after making a turn on a routine voyage due to excess cargo and improper stowage. Many of the victims were teenage children on a school trip who remained in their cabins following crew instructions.

    Fifteen surviving members of the crew have been convicted of charges ranging from homicide to negligence and received prison sentences of up to 36 years in a case that caused a nationwide anger after video footage of their escape surfaced.

    In May, Park vowed sweeping reforms to improve emergency response and safety oversight and announced she would break up the coast guard.

    The new agency starts operation on Wednesday.

    South Korea, Asia’s fourth-largest economy and a major manufacturing powerhouse, has developed into one of the world’s most technically advanced democracies, but faces criticism that regulatory controls and safety standards have not kept pace.

    Only 172 of the 476 passengers on board the Sewol were rescued as the vessel listed and gradually sank with most of the passengers inside.

    Many of the survivors were seen on live television being pulled from the water by fishermen who had rushed to the scene near the country’s southwestern coast. (Reporting by Jack Kim; Editing by Nick Macfie)


    © 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.


    http://gcaptain.com/south-korea-launches-new-agency-to-replace-disbanded-coast-guard/
     

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