Sewol Ferry | South Korea Ferry Sewol Ferry Raised After Three Years | Disaster

Sewol Ferry

MV Sewol Ferry was a Korean vehicle-passenger ferry, built in 1994 in Japan. The ferry was originally known as Ferry Naminoue between 1994 and 2012, and it was operated in Japan for almost 18 years without any accidents. In 2012, the ship was later bought for ₩11.6 billion (US$11.3 million) by Chonghaejin Marine Company, chairman of that company was YooByung-eun. The ship name was changed as Sewol Ferry, and remodelled. The modifications included adding extra passenger cabins on the third, fourth, and fifth decks, raising the passenger capacity by 117, and increasing the weight of the ship by 239 tons. After regulatory and safety checks by the Korean Register of Shipping, the ship began her operation in South Korea on 15 March 2013. The ship made three round-trips every week from Incheon to Jeju Island.

Sewol ferry was a RoPax ferry that was built by the Japanese company Hayashikane Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. Ltd. in 1994. With 146 m in length and 22 m in width, she might accommodate 921 passengers, or a total of 956 persons, along with the team. She had a legal capacity for 180 vehicles and 154 regular cargo containers. The maximum speed of the ship was 22 knots (41 km/h; 25 mph)

On 16 April, 2014, the ship was carrying 443 passengers, 33 team members, and a total of 2,142, seven tons of cargo including 185 cars. Out of 443 passengers 325 passengers were students   on a field trip from Danwon High School and five passengers did not have a Korean nationality. The ship was controlled by a 69 year old Captain Lee Joon-seok who had been brought in as a substitute for the regular captain. He had over 40 years of experience at sea and had travelled over the route before. Lee worked with 33 team members for the journey, out of whom 19 were irregular, part-time workers.

Sewol Ferry Disaster:

The Sinking Of Sewol:

The sinking of MV Sewol ferry occurred on the morning of 16 April 2014, en route from Incheon to Jeju in South Korea. The ferry capsized while carrying 476 people, mostly secondary school students from Danwon High School (Ansan City). The 6,825-ton ship sent a danger signal from about 2.7 kilometres (1.7 mi) north of Byeongpungdo at 08:58 Korea

Standard Time (23:58 UTC, 15 April 2014). In all, 304 passengers and team members died in the disaster. Of the approximately 172 survivors, more than half passengers rescued by fishing boats and other commercial ships that arrived at the scene around 40 minutes after the South Korean coast guard received the news.

Captain And Crew Arrested:

On 19 April 2014, the captain of the ferry was arrested on suspicion of negligence of duty, violation of maritime law and other infringements. The captain had abandoned the ship with passengers still aboard the ferry, while South Korean law explicitly requires captains to remain on the ship during a disaster. Two other crew members, a helmsman and the third mate, were also arrested on that day on suspicion of negligence and manslaughter. By 26 April, twelve further arrests had been made with the whole crew responsible for navigation in detention.

On 15 May 2014, Captain Lee Jun-seok, First Mate Kang Won-sik (who was responsible for managing the ship's ballast), Second Mate Kim Young-ho, and Chief Engineer Park Gi-ho were indicted on charges of murder through gross negligence, which carry a potential death penalty. The other eleven crew members face lesser charges of abandoning the ship and ship safety offences. Three team members, Park Ji-young, Jeong Hyun-seon, and Kim Ki-woong, are credited by survivors with staying on the ferry to help passengers escape. All three went down with the sinking ship.

Operators Arrested:

On 8 May 2014, the chief executive of Chonghaejin Marine, Kim Han-sik, was arrested and faced charges including causing death by negligence. Four other company officials were also taken into custody. The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries cancelled Chonghaejin Marine's license to operate ferries on the Incheon-Jeju Island route in May 2014.

Sewol Ferry Owner Was Died:

YooByung-eun, former chairman of Chonghaejin Marine, ignored Incheon District Prosecutors' Office summons and went into hiding. On 22 May, the Incheon District Court issued an arrest warrant and Korean authorities offered a ₩50 million (US$48,800) reward for information leading to the arrest of YooByungeun. On 25 May, the reward was raised tenfold to ₩500 million (US$488,000). On 21 July 2014, it was reported that a body found in a field in June was believed to be Yoo's.

Sewol Ferry Disaster Ferry Raised In South Korea After Three Years:

  • A ferry has been raised from the sea bed, three years after it sank in one of South Korea's deadliest disasters. Raising the vessel was one of the key demands of the families of the victims.

  • The complicated operation is one among the biggest ever tried. Hundreds of workers in a Chinese salvage crew have been involved inside the raising of ship inside the sea.

Sewol Ferry

  • It has been winched to the surface so a platform can be inserted under it for towing   ashore.

  • It was expected to arrive at port in less than two weeks, where it would be met by the families of victims.

  • The bodies of nine victims are believed to be still trapped inside the sunken ship, and raising it was one of the significant demands of their families.

  • The government bowed to pressure to elevate the 6,825 tonne vessel, one of the most complex operations ever attempted, said the the BBC's Stephen Evans on Jindo Island.

  • The 16-year-old daughter of Huh Hong-Hwan was one victim whose remains were never found. “To see the Sewol again, I can't describe how I'm feeling right now," Mr. Huh told the AFP news agency as he watched the raising of the ship from a boat close by.

  • The sinking was blamed on a combination of illegal redesigns, cargo overloading, the inexperience of the crew member steering the vessel and lax government regulations. The ship's captain was later convicted of murder.

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