South Korea’s Sinking Ship

By Sherry Yuan and Zachary Harmon

April 16th was a normal day for us. But not for all the passengers who were on Sewol.

On 15 April 8 p.m., passenger ship called Sewol started sailing from RenChuanGang to Jeju island. On the morning of April 16, the passenger ship began to sink. The passenger ship with a sail tried to change course rapidly, led to it tilting and sinking ship goods. At that time most of the passengers were still holding on, unable to escape in time. At 7:58, passenger ship sent a message into the hull saying that the “ship is sinking”, the South Korean Coast Guard came to the rescue. At 9:31, more than 90% of the hull tilted into the ocean. The ship passengers were in conversations with South Korea’s YTN web site and said the hull has 90% tilt into the ocean, waiting for rescue. At 9 p.m., the south Korean coast guard rescued the passengers. Another 7 folk merchant ship was also involved in the rescue .The ship’s passengers told the media, there was a helicopter arrived at the sea. Other passengers said they are waiting in the cabin, but it was difficult to balance.

According to a report from the Korea international broadcasting station (KBS) by the 25th at 1 PM local time, South Korea “SEWOL” liner sinking accident caused the death toll to be more than 180 people, nearly 120 people are still unaccounted for. According to CNN reported that South Korea searchers found in a wear holes to 48 bodies, all female students in life jackets. But their bodies have not currently not recover. The place where the bodies were found in the cabin can accommodate 30 people originally, but they found 48 people, this means that when the hull tilt arrived a lot of people were in  there. The wreck accident happened in this month 16 sunrise location for the jeolla Jane island county area. Passengers included 325 gyeonggi province travel to jeju island to complete studies and TanYuan andesitic city high school students and 14 teachers. According to local media reports, the ship held more than 300 students in the ship instructions for how most people in the cabin and eventually the ferry sank together, due to not follow instructions.

As you may know, the life of a sailor is filled with odd tradition and jargon, such as the taboo of bananas, and church bell, or the good luck a dolphin or albatross will bring. There are a few traditions that are taken more seriously, such as the Captain being the last one off the ship when things go wrong. It’s taken so seriously, that the captain is actually responsible for the ship, crew and any passengers onboard.

Reading through the transcript of the ship to shore radio transmission, it seems that the entire crew was on the bridge, and the ship was tilted so much that it made walking difficult, and they simply requested that the Coast Guard come. I’m not sure how they were thinking 476 people would fit onto a helicopter, but I guess it made sense to the deck officers. The only reason that I could see that they would delay the abandon ship order, and proceed with boarding lifeboats, or simply jumping overboard was the threat of hypothermia. In coastal waters near where the ship sank, someone was bound to show up at some up soon enough that one could survive without being in a lifeboat, given they were wearing a lifejacket.

The ship radioed the shore at one point: “If passengers escape, can they be immediately rescued?” That is a legitimate concern when one is considering the effects of hypothermia.  The problem is, when I checked the water temperature in the area the next day it was in the neighborhood of 60 degrees. That’s chilly, but there are about one to two hours before hypothermia sets in, and as long as six hours before unconsciousness. Given the ship was in between a number of islands, boats could have been on scene before anyone one froze to death.

There is a captain who went down with his ship to save his passengers and crew, only to wash up on shore, alive, three days later. His ship was bigger than the Titanic, Exxon Valdez, Sewol, Cosco busan, Reuben James, Edmund Fitzgerald, Bismarck, and Hood combined. You could say he was on a ship called Death, and he sacrificed himself so we could all disembark safely. You may know the captain by the name of Jesus. “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.” Romans 4:25