Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Search resumes for South Korea ferry victims

13 May 2014, 08:31

Seoul - Recovery operations in South Korea's ferry disaster resumed on Tuesday after dangerous conditions forced a three-day hiatus, while officials promised counselling for divers traumatised by retrieving children's bodies from the sunken vessel.

Operations at the site off the southern coast, where the 6 825 ton Sewol with 476 people on board sank on 16 April, had been suspended since Saturday morning because of strong tidal currents and heavy swells.

Improved conditions allowed a team of 16 divers to access the submerged ferry in the early hours of Tuesday morning, but no bodies were recovered, coastguard spokesperson Ko Myung-Suk told reporters.

The confirmed death toll stood at 275, with 29 still missing.

The recovery teams are under intense pressure to retrieve the remaining bodies as soon as possible, and Ko said they would do their best to make up for the lost days.

Psychiatric help

But the grim work is taking its toll on the divers, who are reduced to groping for bodies, most of them schoolchildren, in near-zero visibility.

Park Seung-Ki, a spokesperson for the federal anti-disaster agency, said counselling and psychiatric help would be "actively provided" to any divers who needed it.

Of those on board, 325 were students from a high school on an organised trip to the southern resort island of Jeju.

Initial investigations into the disaster suggest the ferry was carrying up to three times its safe cargo capacity.

All 15 surviving crew members including the captain have been arrested, together with five officials from Chonghaejin Marine Co., which owned and operated the ferry.

The captain and most of the crew were among the first to abandon ship and have been widely vilified for leaving trapped passengers to die.

The government on Monday revoked Chonghaejin's licence to operate the route to Jeju, citing safety violations by the company and crew.

The Sewol's regular captain, who was off duty on the day of the accident, has told prosecutors that Chonghaejin "brushed aside" repeated warnings that the 20-year-old ship had stability issues following a renovation in 2012.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...