Heroism, Suicide after the Sewol Ferry Accident

On Wednesday, April 16, the South Korean ferry Sewol sank en route to Jeju Island with a few hundred high school students and teachers on board. In the aftermath, the vice principal of the high school has committed suicide and the captain and two crew members have been arrested on charges of deserting the passengers and failing to help them evacuate the ship. Netizens reacted with outrage and sadness to this news and the heroic acts of passengers aboard the ship.


Article from Asia Economy:

Rescue team enters Sewol ferry and collects three bodies

According to the emergency headquarters for the Sewol ferry accident, at 11:48 p.m. on April 19th, the civilian-government-military joint rescue team was able to enter the ship after breaking windows and collected three bodies.

BY 12:10 A.M. on the 20th, two of the bodies were identified as male and the other is still being identified. At 5:50 a.m. on the 19th, a civilian diver found bodies after entering through windows on the 4th floor. The bodies were all wearing life jackets.

The rescue team let civilian divers attempt to break the windows all day and finally succeeded in collecting the bodies. It was the first time for the rescue team to enter the ship since the 16th when the accident happened. The search and rescue operations are expected to increase in speed. As of now, among the 476 passengers, 36 are reported to have died with 266 missing. 174 passengers were rescued.

The rescue team continues night operations by the light of 880 rounds of flares. Nine squid fishing boats were also deployed to provide light. However, they have difficulties due to the high current speed and bad weather. They have not been able to find any signs of survivors.

Comments from Naver:


For the exhausted parents and family…..please collect everyone’s body at least… Please so they can rest in warmth instead of the cold water…


I truly hope there are no missing bodies. I still wish there were survivors in the ship, but if that’s impossible, please help the bodies go back to their family. Thank you, rescue team.


Cold, painful and scary memories…I hope they can lay them down and rest in peace. I pray for their souls.


I sincerely hope there is at least one survivor….


Is this the reality…


I’m a diving expert. I couldn’t apply for the rescue team because my wife is pregnant. I write this comment because some people don’t seem to understand what current speed 8 kn means. If the speed is 3 kn, diving is prohibited. At current speed 3 kn, your goggles can be taken off or you can be swept away for 3~5 meters as soon as you enter the water. Diving at current speed 8 kn for the rescue operation means risking their life. You can be instantly swept away 50 meters. It’s completely different from scuba diving that you can do on your honeymoon trip. Please do not bash the divers when they deserve our respect…I hope for a miracle.


They should definitely give psychological counseling to the divers.


The divers are human, too. It must be so scary when they find dead bodies. After the operation, they should give psychological counseling to the divers.


I would panic if a dead body suddenly pops up when I can’t even see more than 20 cm ahead of me.


Trapped in the ship for tens of hours…. Kids must have hoped to survive relying on nearby friends… When you were left alone as your friends die one by one, how scary it must have been…. How scary it must have been facing death that I haven’t even thought about… While losing consciousness, how much they must have missed their mom, dad and beloved people…..

Article from News1:

Sewol Ferry Captain and Two Crew Members Arrested

On April 19, Captain Lee (68), third officer Park (25) and helmsman Cho (55) were arrested following the ferry accident that resulted in the death of passengers.

The judge of the Mokpo branch of Gwangju’s District court, Ryu Bong-geun, who interrogated captain Lee and the other crew members, issued an arrest warrant for the three men at 2:00 a.m on the 19th. He listed suspected destruction of evidence and attempted flight.

On the afternoon of the 18th, the prosecution-police joint investigation team requested an arrest warrant for the crew members for violating the Act on the Aggravated Punishment, Etc. of Specific Crimes (aggravated punishment for a captain or crew members who abandon their ship).


According to the investigation team, Lee and his crew members were charged with failing to reduce the ship’s speed while veering and failing to take the appropriate measures to evacuate passengers. The aggravated punishment act prosecutors would like to apply to Lee’s case was enacted in July of last year. This is the first time it has been applied. The penalty for violating the act ranges from 5 years to life in prison.


Comments from Naver:


Maybe it’s not just Sewol but the entire Korean society that is sinking. I cannot hide my fear that we are probably living on, believing the empty words from the bigwigs that “we should calmly remain in our seats”.


“Stay still. Don’t move.” The kids must have trusted him and waited to be rescued. Even when he hid his identity as captain and escaped before his passengers.


In January, 2012, the cruise ship Costa Concordia with 4,229 [3,229] passengers from Italy hit a rock and was stranded. 32 passengers died in the accident. The Italian prosecutors charged Captain Schettino, who escaped before his passengers, with manslaughter and dereliction of duty. They demanded a jail sentence of 2,679 years. How many years would he have to serve in Korea???




Why did they do that….really…


When the ship was only partially submerged, they should’ve breached the ship and saved the passengers by helicopter. The U.S. Navy sent helicopters immediately for the rescue operation. [The Korean military explained that the American helicopters were put on standby due to difficulties in coordinating them with Korean aircraft in the area.] Some newspapers prematurely reported that everyone was saved while the Korean headquarters wasted three hours and didn’t send helicopters to the rescue when they should’ve. After the ship sank, they were trying to deploy divers who couldn’t do much. They could’ve saved more people if they had made better use of the helicopters. Look at the broadcasts around 12 o’clock when there was a false report that everyone was saved. The area didn’t seem busy. It almost looked like helicopters and boats were pulling out. Please! Punish the head of the Korea Coast Guard who made the wrong decision in the initial stage of the accident along with the captain.


He killed 300 people who would’ve become the pride of the country. He wounded the hearts of their parents for life. He ruined the third mate’s career. He ruined his company. He ruined an entire school. He killed the vice principal. He inflicted psychological wounds on the survivors. His sins are endless, but he can only get 5 years? Remake the laws all over again.


He should think himself fortunate that he is going to jail. It will be safer there. If he reenters society, it will be hell for him.


He was even drying off the money in his wallet after abandoning his passengers…. Really…I’m speechless. The real devil is right there.


I have no desire to defend her at all, but the third mate met the wrong captain who ruined her life.

Article from Yonhap News:

“I take full responsibility”…Danwon High School Vice Principal Commits Suicide

Vice Principal Kang (52) of Danwon High School in Ansan, Gyeonggi-do, was found dead after the deadly ferry accident.


A hand-written suicide note was discovered in his wallet. The note says, “It is too hard for me to live when 200 of my students are missing. Please place all the responsibility on me. I carried forward the trip plan. Burn my body and sprinkle the ashes in the area where the ship sank. Maybe I will become a teacher again in the afterlife for the missing students.”

Other teachers have said the Vice Principal was blaming himself for leaving his students behind as he was rescued.


Comments from Naver:


Why did the teachers have to kneel down in front of the students’ parents and apologize as if they committed high treason…yeah? What did they do wrong… Two teachers died and 11 teachers are still missing…. Why are the student’s parents complaining to the wrong side….?


The government should’ve separated the teachers from the students’ parents. Why did they put them in the same place, which puts pressure on the teachers???? Also, you need to keep an eye on the people who have been rescued. You don’t know what they will do out of guilt. The authorities should pay attention to them. Also, netizens should not write comments critical of any of the rescued people except for the captain, which can trouble the people who have been rescued as well as their family. Please support them. I feel sorry and pray for the victims.


The captain who put 300 people to death survived while innocent people died left and right. Stewardess Park Ji-young remained in the ship until the last moment to save one more kid before she died. The captain who should’ve hung himself was drying off his money after he got rescued. It makes my blood boil…


Sadly, a good vice principal passed away. They found the body of a teacher who had tried until the end to help students escape. There are teachers who led students to safety but were not able to escape themselves and are still missing, following the announcement. If there is someone to blame, it is the captain. It seems wrong to place any blame on the teachers.


So sad… A person who is alive should live on.. Please rest in peace.


“Maybe I will become a teacher again in the afterlife.” This part was so touching…


He must have felt a lot of guilt. He went ahead with the trip. The guilt that he felt because he survived while so many of his students were in danger. He must have felt so much pain seeing the crying parents. He might have blamed everything on himself and could not endure it. It’s heartbreaking to imagine what he might have felt. Rest in peace. I hope he can lay down the burden and rest in peace.


This probably would not have happened if someone had comforted the vice principal when he was painfully apologizing. Nobody was accepting his apologies. There was nowhere for him to turn… We’ve lost another person just like that… Isn’t this also a man-made disaster.. So painful……..


It’s like the parents killed him. What did he do wrong. I understand the parents’ pain but a person who is alive should live on. Do not blame anyone else than the captain. Accidental deaths happen everyday everywhere. They have received enough sympathy.


One of my friends said Kang was the vice principal when he was going to high school. He said Kang was a good person. It’s so sad..


koreaBANG has compiled accounts of heroism amid the accident that are known so far.


Park Ji-young (22, stewardess) remained in the ferry until the end to help passengers evacuate. When she found there were not enough life jackets on the third floor, she went to the fourth floor to get more. She did not put on a life jacket. Her dead body was found.


Yang Dae-hong (46, cashier) also stayed on the ship to save passengers and went missing. His last text message to his wife is as follows. “The ship has tilted too much. There is money saved in the Suhyup bank account. Use that for our older kid’s college tuition. I have to go save the kids. I can’t talk anymore. Bye.”


High school student Jeong Cha-woong (17) lost his life helping his friends evacuate. He gave his own life jacket to his friend and tried to save other friends in the water. His dead body was found.


Kwon Hyeok-gyu (6) was with his 5-year-old sister Kwon Ji-yeon, away from their parents. He put his own life jacket on his sister and went to find his parents, but did not come back. High school student Park Ho-jin (17) found Ji-yeon crying and took her out of the ship. Her parents and brother are missing.


Park’s English teacher Nam Yun-cheol (35) stayed on the ship until the end trying to help his students evacuate. He gave his own life jacket to one of his students. His dead body was found.


Passenger Kim Hong-gyeong (59) and other passengers made a 10-meter-long rope with curtains attached to a fire hose and used it to save about 20 students downstairs. He survived.


High school student Cho Dae-seob (17) ran around distributing life jackets to his fellow students and helped a lost child put on a life jacket. When the water was pouring in, he helped female students escape first. He survived.

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  • hong

    this is so sad.
    But a lot of heroes have emerged especially the kid brother who saved his little sister.

    I hope the captain rots in jail.Too bad south korea wont issue the death penalty for this coward.
    time will tell if there will be a full independent judicial inquiry or a royal commission if South Korea has one.
    My condolences for those affected with the disaster.

    • RegisterToPost

      The captain will be a marked man when he gets out of prison. No matter where he goes, he’ll always be thought of as a mass murderer.

    • bumfromkorea

      Death penalty is too good for this motherfucker. Life imprisonment, so that every night that fucker sleeps in prison, he’ll see all the kids he killed with his selfishness.

      • I haven’t been following every detail this story (this koreabang article is the most comprehensive piece I’ve read on it so far), but from what I gather, the captain is mainly blamed for these things:

        1. Sinking the ship

        2. Telling students to stay put instead of evacuate

        3. Fleeing to safety while passengers were still on the ship

        4. Apparently drying his money whilst his passengers were drowning

        I realize the above four things above sound pretty bad, but given the amount of anger and hatred mounting against the captain, I think it’s crucial to truly evaluate whether and to what degree the captain is culpable for such things:

        1. Did the ship sink due to some natural phenomenon that no competent crew exercising due diligence would have been able to anticipate and outmaneuver? Or did it sink due to negligence? If it did sink due to negligence, was it due to the captain’s negligence, or was due to the negligence of one or several other crew members, or even non-crew members who were responsible for aspects of the ship and its excursion?

        2. Telling students to stay put instead of evacuate is presumably a precautionary measure against a false alarm, and he evidently felt that he could manage the situation. There is certainly no reason to believe he wanted passengers to needlessly die. Therefore, this appears to have been an act of professional incompetence rather than malicious intent. Such incompetence is condemnable on professional grounds, but I do not think it warrants vilification. The real-world stakes for his professional incompetence were simply higher. At most, one could accuse him of being too proud to jeopardize his professional reputation and urge passengers to abandon his ship in the case of a possible false alarm (incidentally, how late into the ship’s disaster did he continue telling passengers to stay where they are?).

        3. Choosing to flee to safety while his passengers were still on the ship was not a brave or courageous decision, but it was a decision that was exercised by many others on the ship; the only difference is his status as captain. It is noble for a captain to sacrifice his life trying to save his or her passengers, but we cannot reasonably expect all captains to so eagerly risk suicide. It is easy to vilify the captain for not risking his life to save his passengers, but how many of us even have professions where suicide is a possibility? This is not a light consideration, and it is precisely because this act is so profoundly altruistic that we heap great praise on those who do risk their lives saving others. To argue that any captain who doesn’t risk his or her life saving his or her passengers cheapens the heroism of those who do by positing cowardice as the only alternative to such heroism.

        4. The drying-off-his-money story may be true or may just be a rumor. We may never know whether it really happened. But if he was already onshore and had no more capacity to be of any use in the cause of rescuing passengers, then there’s nothing really wrong with him attending to a practical matter, as symbolically offensive as it may be.

        I’m not saying the captain isn’t to blame. I’m just saying we should consider the points mentioned above so that our outrage at the captain is proportionate to the severity of his crimes, rather than the severity of the disaster.

        Maybe some or even all of these questions have already been answered, and I’m just not aware of them yet. My comment is only as long as it is because I admittedly do not know much about the situation, nor do I know how much others know about it.

        • Insomnicide

          But the problem is, as far as we know, he told the passengers to stay put and did not notify them of changes in the situation.

          So they stayed put until the ship sank and did not evacuate. Even if it’s was unintentional, this is still manslaughter on the captain’s part. However for whatever reason or what circumstances, we still do not know so there might be more to the story.

        • Bulgogi Thief

          Dear chap, by virtue of principles enshrined in maritime law and sea-faring tradition, a captain is considered to be ultimately responsible for his ship, even in his absence (where, for example, he abandons his ship and its passangers). Such responsibility cannot be demitted in the absence of exceedingly extraordinary circumstances, of which, it appears, none are present. So, essentially, the man is culpable for the missteps of his crew –the negligence of his crew will be abscribed to him, particularly if he issued no or poor instructions– and his early disembark from the crippled vessel, effectively abandoning his duties. And, frankly speaking, it can be strongly argued that his absence from the bridge was the sine qua non of the whole thing.

        • guest

          /4. Apparently drying his money whilst his passengers were drowning/



          • Rutim

            Well, people react in many weird ways after a big shock is being blown upon their heads. Some even go crazy after giant shock similar to what happened to this captain.

      • guest

        The cowardly captain should be imprisoned and waterboarded for every day of his life, or at least as many times as the number of passengers drowned.

  • The Navy and Coast Guard should have been on the scene within one hour….what a joke. South Korea is as inept as North Korea

    • chucky3176

      They were there within 30 minutes. The coast guards couldn’t have done anything if the captain wasn’t evacuating the ship. And all was lost when they lost that first hour, which is called the “golden hour”. It was the captain’s and the crew’s fault that so many didn’t evacuate. The captain and the sailors who were the jokes. Shouldn’t you be somewhere else making stupid jokes as usual?

      • no leadership in S. Korea…none! Koreans are unable to lead in fear of losing face (insert your own joke here idiot)

        • chucky3176

          You know what, as sad as it sounds, I agree with you. You can put your own jokes here and bash about that and it wouldn’t be too far from the truth. Lot of Koreans have been in mourning the last few days, and a lot of people are angry that the leadership is missing.

        • Doge Wallace

          Though I agree with you – I would say most countries don’t have strong leadership. Which countries have leadership? Japan during Fukushima? The US during Katrina?

        • Ryan Kim

          Koreans are followers. They do what everybody else is doing. If they are given an order, they follow it if somebody else is following it and nobody wants to not be part of the group. In fact, an insult in Korea is to called somebody “wang-ta”, which means “away from the group”. Some kids call each other “penguin” because they are in the frozen tundra and away from the central group.

          Koreans never take responsibility for their own actions. You can video tape them doing something, show it to them, and they will deny it. In fact, in Korean culture, you are the jerk for showing that to them and denying them the right to lie to themselves. It’s a maddening culture to live in.

          • tina

            wow, how sickening. koreans can do better than that. everyone should be responsible for their own actions, not only koreans. can they think for themselves? can some of them be brave? why be followers? why do koreans conform so much?

          • bigmamat

            Because it’s easy to become an outcast in society if you don’t conform and most people do. Even in your society you abide by certain rules of behavior that have been codified as acceptable. When people don’t they can be shunned or even worse attacked for deviating from the norm.

          • bumfromkorea

            Yeah… I don’t think 왕따 was crossing the minds of these kids when this was going down.

            Aww, the self-hating phase. It’s okay. You’ll get over it in about a year or two.

          • milo

            Cultural norms and mindsets mold the way we react to situations. No one is saying people were saying “oh, I’m Korean therefore I must follow this exact formula, as I am Korean. I will be an outcast if I run off the boat now” We are socialized continuously from birth, we learn from our family and friends, education reenforces it and the media nowdays strengthens it. It is buried from the deepest recesses of our sub-concious all the way up into to our active cognition. It dictates how we will we view scenarios and the choices we make. You shouldn’t think if “culture” in such a one dimensional way.
            Was Korean culture the sole reason for this tragedy? Of course not.
            Did it play a part? Absolutely.
            Just like American culture plays a part in the mass shooting that happen there, every other week.

            You don’t need to get offended because someone says something that isn’t positive about your country. Self-reflection is important, especially at times like this.

          • bumfromkorea

            I’m just going to copy and paste, because so many people seem to think that culture somehow overrides one’s need to, you know, survive.

            Here’s an idea. If you’re on a ship, this shit happened, you’re scared shitless, and the announcements are telling you “Stay where you are! It’ll be even more dangerous if you move!”, how many people are going to go “Oh, fuck that. I’m out of here!” and jump into the sea?

            In other words, how many rational people would believe that they know more about maritime safety than the actual sailors? That is why what that captain and the most of the crewmen did was so despicable.

            You don’t need to get offended because someone says something that isn’t positive about your country.

            Yeah… people who don’t speak Korean don’t tend to understand this concept: Koreans are one of the most self-critical people in the world. Most, let’s say English speakers, don’t get that impression, because, well, all the self-reflections occur in Korean. Thanks for being incredibly condescending to me, though. That was very nice.

          • bigmamat

            I agree that there is no indication anything “cultural” is what made those kids stay in their cabins. Most people would follow instructions during that kind of crisis. I would assume the crew knew what to do in that situation. I also don’t think corruption, graft and greed are unique cultural traits, they’re human traits. I read a blog that suggested that Koreans don’t have a lot of respect for other people’s rights. They claimed that Korean car driving was a good example. I have seen expats say that the scariest thing about Korea is crossing the street. The lack of inspections on the ship and the fact that it might have been in substandard shape due to it’s age are not Korean cultural norms. That’s unfettered capitalism and the governments failure to reign it it. Also not Korean. I can’t think of anything that I saw that was uniquely Korean about anyone’s behavior before, during or after this disaster.

          • milo

            Again, you are thinking of culture in a very one-dimensional way and you quite obviously don’t have a deep understanding of the word and how it plays into certain psychological theory patterns.
            I’m condescending because reading your comments I get the impression you are a a teenager who has been held back a few grades and is slightly slow. You also seem like a bitter dork.

          • bigmamat

            I need to understand what aspect of this tragedy you can link to Korean culture. The kids remaining in their cabins. I don’t think so. I’m not Korean and very likely would have done what I was told. The fact that the boat may have been substandard and inspections were cursory. No Korean either. The captain abandoning ship. I’m sure there are incidences of this happening to non Korean captains, I’m just to lazy to look. The botched rescue. Well gee, I’m American and we stranded an entire city that was drowning, no Korean shit there. As much as we’d like to find something that will point to a single defining moment or cause for tragedies like this we can’t. It’s a perfect shit storm of consequences nothing more. Right now what Korea does need to do is start a dialog with their government on how it can ensure public safety.

          • milo

            This is exactly my point. We are not dealing with the surface veener of culture, which is what people automatically assume when we mention the word. Koreans are socialized with the collectivist idea. There decision making, for better and worse, is made in that mode. Practical outcomes could be individuals not wanting to go it alone, even if they know it’s not right to do what everyone else is doing.

            But if that is what you want, the “bali bali” idea that infects everything here, which usually means poorly poorly as opposed to quickly. Safety is just not as important here. Look at the road death stats. Child pedestrian in particular. Building/bridge collapses. Look at the total absence of safety drills and training. This isn’t unique to Korea, but it is certainly a symptom of the bodge bodge, paper over cracks attitude.
            Korea is part of the OECD. But as the WSJ said, there is a mismatch of the software and hardware. All of these things are cultural.

          • bigmamat

            When I first started observing Korea I thought there was a tremendous gulf between their culture and mine. I’m not so sure anymore. There’s a lot of talk about collectivism in Korea and I do see it played out in the policing of each others personal lives. There seems to be a lot of pressure to conform to certain standards more than others. People need to look a certain way and speak a certain way. It’s more like a veneer of politeness more than an actual respect for each other. What I read about the military service and how brutal it can be if you land under an asshole. I do think the social structure can breed a contempt for one’s fellow man. Having to kiss the ass of someone older than you or in a position higher than you regardless of the quality of their character might be enough to ruin your outlook on humanity. But there isn’t anywhere in the world where big groups of people do things or altruistic reasons.

          • John I.B.C. Madison

            The road deaths per year, per 100,000 inhabitants in South Korea is 10.5, and in the US, it’s 10.4.

            I’m guessing the reason those two countries have similar rates mean they have a very similar culture?
            I guess safety and especially the safety of a child is not a priority in America?

            And what about bridges? More bridges collapse per year in the US than in South Korea. I guess that means US has a “software” that’s incompatible with the OECD?

            What goes on in your mind when have those crack pot theories?

            You should really know how braindead you sound, especially when you jump straight from your dribble/rant about collectivist culture to road deaths–the result of very INDIVIDUAL negligence to properly drive.

          • chucky3176

            It’s “Korean culture” if they listened to the captain, and remained where they are. It just happened that those 300 people who obeyed the captain are the ones who are dead and missing. But let’s play a what if scenario.

            What if those 174 who didn’t listen to the captain, ran all over the ship, then drowned themselves, while the 300 who did listen to the captain survives? Then I know what the expert arm chair analysts on Korean culture will be saying today. It was Korean culture that those 174 people who don’t listen, to not obey the rules and instructions of authorities. It is Korean culture to flaunt the rules. That’s what everyone would be saying.

            Come on, can’t you see, whatever happened, this was bound to be blamed on the flawed characteristics of Korean culture or flawed national characteristics of Koreans themselves?

          • Guest

            “I’m sure there are incidences of this happening to non Korean captains, I’m just to lazy to look.”

            Costa concordia.

          • bigmamat


          • bumfromkorea

            Lovely display of personal attacks. It definitely bolsters your credibility.

          • chucky3176

            “Self-reflection is important, especially at times like this.”

            I find this so highly condescending.
            Are you suggesting there isn’t any of this national self-reflection at this moment?

          • milo

            The comment of self reflection was directed at “bumfromkorea”. Because he got hurt when the other guy said his opinion. I think Bum needs to reflect on his feelings and why any criticisim hurts him so deeply to lash out at others. I know very well Korea is reflecting on this event of course.

          • John I.B.C. Madison

            There’s nothing about “American culture” that informs us about mass shootings.

            American law allows guns. There are crazy people in America. Crazy people can watch other crazy people on TV shooting up schools, so they copy those actions.
            That’s not culture. That’s just law, a TV set, and a fucked-up childhood.

            Similarly, a ship passenger of any nationality, ethnicity, and culture would have obeyed the orders of the ship’s captain, b/c HE IS THE FUCKING CAPTAIN.
            That is not an ethnicity-specific culture.
            That is the CULTURE OF PASSENGER SHIPS.

            Sure he was a shit captain, but the passengers didn’t know that at the time, and they paid for the murder’s mistakes and cowardice. But there was NO ETHNICITY-SPECIFIC CULTURAL LOGIC behind obeying the captain.

            This is no time for “self-reflection” about Korean culture. WTF? This is about time to find justice for the victims’ families and justice against the cowardly murderer.

        • linette lee

          This is really not the article to joke

          Most of those people didn’t have to die. This is grief and tragedy. Really really bad for the families of the victims.

      • tomoe723

        It’s not just the captain & crew’s fault, it’s everyone else’s. What kind of rescue team waits for the victim to call out to rescue them? Does a firefighter wait for the house to burn down before he goes in to rescue anybody left standing alive? It’s so stupid and very maddening, the inaction is just disgusting. -_-!!!!#$%

    • RegisterToPost

      The Americans (the USS Bonhomme) were there, but the Koreans didn’t let them help. Pathetic.

      • chucky3176

        What help could the US navy do, other than doing salvage work? They arrived a day later. Even the US commander said that Koreans didn’t need any help at that point. The ship capsized within 1.5 hours after the accident, and most of the lives were already doomed when the ship’s captain wasted 1 hour to evacuate. What happened after that is just pretense (for the sake of surviving families who were preying) that there’s somekind of miracle that some survivor maybe holed up in a airpocket bubble. That ain’t happening in a ferry where there’s not many small passenger compartments that people can get into.

      • bumfromkorea

        There were craploads of ships and helicopters on the scene by the time USS Bonhomme made it to the scene. They were asked to stand by because the airspace was already clogged with Korean helicopters pulling people out.


        For christ’s sake. It took me 20 seconds to find this information.

  • Peter Old

    My heart suddenly dropped when I first read about this accident. I can’t imagine the horror faced by these passengers nor the anguish of the friends and families affected by this tragedy.

    Koreans should know that we all have sympathy for you and extend our warmest condolences at this terrible time.

  • vonskippy

    Here’s an idea, if you’re on a sinking ship, GET OFF, GET OFF NOW. What type of person can’t think for themselves and do what any rat would do without prompting?

    • chucky3176

      Yes and no. Some could have gotten off if they had evacuated, and the captain’s announcement to stay where they are, did a huge damage. But for others, who were on the right side of the ship, they couldn’t move, as shown in the second last video. The right side of the ship now turned into a ceiling and there were many people trapped up there, while others were grievously injured when they slid down to the left side of ship, as the ship leaned severely 60 degrees to the left. The people who were fortunate to be on the left side of the ship were the most survivors.

      The ship was way overloaded with 184 vehicles, when it was only designed to handle 145 vehicles. They also had two huge trailer tractor trucks, as well as unsecured cargo. The ship was being driven by an untrained woman sailor in her twenties, who was steering the ship for the first time, while the captain was asleep in another room.

      • a woman driver….do we need to say more?

        • Guest

          shut up.

          • John I.B.C. Madison

            well said.

        • secret

          asian woman driver..

      • MintyBadger

        Asleep? Sober? Who knows? He got off the ship in his underwear. What was more pressing business that didn’t require pants while the ship tossed on a stormy sea? There’s more of a story that isn’t being told here.

    • bumfromkorea

      Here’s an idea. If you’re on a ship, this shit happened, you’re scared shitless, and the announcements are telling you “Stay where you are! It’ll be even more dangerous if you move!”, how many people are going to go “Oh, fuck that. I’m out of here!” and jump into the sea?

      In other words, how many rational people would believe that they know more about maritime safety than the actual sailors? That is why what that captain and the most of the crewmen did was so despicable.

      • vonskippy

        I agree, the Captain and some of the crew were to blame, but staying put when ALL common sense says GET OFF NOW is baffling. In the west there would have been a mad dash to get off the ship, regardless of what the instructions were. Common sense instead of “following the instructions” would take over when survival is on the line.

    • Calling slave mentality Asians dumber than rats??? Interesting point…please tell us more

    • mei mei

      most of them are little kids you asshole

      • vonskippy

        You define High School Kids as “little kids”?

        Apparently they don’t teach self sufficiency in Korea High Schools like they do in the rest of the world.

        • mei mei

          there are aslo elementary school, middle shool kids, but yeah high schoolers are stil kid. maybe you’re right they dont teach self sufficiency in Korea schools, but how can you blame it on them (the victims) and called them rat?.

          what a asshole, just kill yourself, you waste of oxygen


          • whuddyasack

            Yeah, exercising a little tact is always good. This is a tragedy and blaming the victims is pathetic.

          • Saisyet

            He didn’t call the kids rats, just mentioned that rats would abandon a sinking ship.

  • What a tragedy holy

  • Truck Furniture Maker

    So the Captain is like hey this is a tough area to navigate let me just take a quick nap and stick this 25 year old kid in charge. Oh my an accident everyone stay in your room while I run off the ship. Meanwhile the vice principal who did nothing wrong commits suicide, WOW!

  • WhoreanBuster

    Some koreans laughed at the Szechuan earthquake. Should I be among those who laugh at korean misfortune?

    • Sillian

      You are probably not even Chinese. You can choose to dwell on internet trolling but don’t omit the fact that there is even a website where more than 20k Korean netizens wrote supportive messages.


      Never mind the 100k ordinary Korean citizens who donated through ARS.


      • whuddyasack

        Due to stupid timing, I don’t really believe he is Chinese either just like I don’t believe Keeping it real is Japanese. If anything, he sounds like a certain troll that’s posted here before who isn’t even worthy of being named. His comment should never have been allowed through just by virtue of that disgusting moniker. But assuming he is Chinese, he’s nothing but an attention-seeking disgrace that chooses to fester on something he heard on the internet 6 years back, when most people have moved on with their lives. He really should have been focusing on the low blow Chinese netizen reactions regarding the Philippines.

        Back then, I remembered the Korean community in Canada offered their prayers, encouragement, donations and support towards all the victims in the quake. From watching video footage, it was truly moving to see lines and lines of Korean/Japanese people and students lining up, fundraising and offering support to the Chinese quake victims and those scenes are things I’ll never forget. I can’t pretend that I can read Korean but I can only thank you for making what I’ve always known even more real to others and thank the kind hearted Koreans involved.

        With that said, the least I can do is offer my prayers, condolences and support to Korea and all the families of those on board the Sewol as well as hope for some miracles for everyone boarding the vessel. Like everyone else my heart goes out to Korea in this disaster. I’m truly moved and inspired by all the heroes and heroines to have emerged from this disaster and truly have to apologize for “Chinese” idiots like, I won’t even bother to repeat his sexist, racist moniker.

        • chucky3176

          Thank you. That’s we need the most right now, encouragement and support.

          • whuddyasack

            Thanks Chucky. And thank you for all the wonderful, touching links. I loved the one from Thailand too, made me tear up.

    • Boris_Da_Bengal_Tiger

      Some Chinese laughed at the Philliphines when it was hit by typhoon Haiyan . Should I be among those who laugh at Chinese misfortune?

      • chucky3176

        I don’t think he’s laughing at the six Chinese nationals who are missing on the boat also.

        • Boris_Da_Bengal_Tiger

          It’s just someone being a troll and using such an incident to point score. I really should have ignored it than rise to it.

    • Doge Wallace

      Some Americans laughed at Katrina, because the victims were largely black. Should I have laughed about the Boston marathon?

    • BabyBabyA

      You’ll look like a complete tool but go ahead.
      And if “some” koreans laughed than what’s the point of laughing at general koreans misfortune? you can’t even troll right.

    • kpopwillneverstop

      Well, there were six Chinese people on board of the ship also, so if you want to laugh at your fellow countrymen as well…then, go ahead.

      Btw, don’t forget to also laugh at the thousand of koreans who also sent donations because of the earthquake.

    • wrle

      Koreans never laughed at the szechuan earthquake. but if you want to make you and your country look bad, go ahead. Don’t forget there were also six missing chinese people in the sinking.

    • linette lee

      @ WhoreanBuster ,If you want to bash Chinese do it in another article. This article is too much grief. Why is that no matter what happens in Asia, it will always turn into a Chinese bashing article?

  • commander

    What’s responsible for one of the nation’s largest maritime disasters in decades.

    1. Captain’s Incompetency

    The biggest liability for the sunken ship and the death toll that could rise up to 300 lies with the ship’s captain, who laid his role of steering the vessel onto an inexperienced third mate while the ship was navigating the sea lane with strong currents.

    The 68 year old captain is also to blame for the failure to order a swift evacuation for all crew members and passengers even after maritime authorities asked him to tell people on board to abandon the ship in emergency communication with the already-tilted ferry.

    The captain hesitated to take action while repeatedly asking when coast guard ships arrive on the scene, leaving the majority of passengers unable to get out of cabins in a ship which sharply started to list and submerge into water.

    2. Overloading and Cargo mismanagement

    The vessel is reported to have been renovated to hold more shipments, and the cargo on board is not tightly fixed when a third mate was taking the helm of the ship and made a sharp turn while the captain was fooling around in his cabin, promoting the cargo’s swing to the side of the ship and a sharp tilt for the ship.

    3. Inclement Sea Weather

    The search and rescue operation was stymied by strong waves and murky underwater visibility in crucial early moments during which well-organized rescue efforts could save more people trapped inside the sunken ship.

    4. Possible Lapses In Governmental Oversight of Ship Operation and Emergency Response

    Although the ship renovation for accomodation of more freight is not illegal, the extra cargo, combined with the captain’s moral hazards, contribute to the sinking. Whether to enact more obligatory rules and strengthen emergency responses for ship crews deserves much consideration for policy makers.

    The government’s ability to respond to crisis needs a thorough review. With no government agency bearing the responsibility for leading the search and rescue efforts, chaos and confusion in the coordinated rescue operation took place while relevant agencies are coming to the vessel’s aid.

    5. What Awaits Families in Grief.

    Retrieving bodies inside the ship takes several days and anguish for the families of victims grow acute by the day.

    Investigation of what caused the sinking can be made after the sunken ferry is pulled out of the sea and hauled to the nearby port.

    Compensation for the bereft families is expected to be a time-consuming process.

    • chucky3176

      Don’t forget the captain was also a back up captain who was covering for the regular captain who was on vacation. The backup captain should have been on the bridge, especially when the ship was navigating through Korea’s most dangerous waters with severely unpredictable currents. So where was the captain? It looks like he was asleep in a room, leaving the steering duties to a person who had never navigated through that area.

      And I wouldn’t rule out mechanical malfunction since that ship was nothing but troublesome one big hunk of junk, ever since it was bought second hand by this greedy company who wanted to save money by maximizing profit and risking passenger safety. It was renovated to take on more people and more cargo. It kept constantly getting stranded at sea, buying constant passenger complaints. The rusted steering system could have been overwhelmed by the overly heavy load, and the stacked load in the container department could have came crumbing down, destabilizing the ship.

      • Rutim

        > And I wouldn’t rule out mechanical malfunction since that ship was nothing but troublesome one big hunk of junk, ever since it was bought second hand by this greedy company who wanted to save money by maximizing profit and risking passenger safety.

        It’s one of the biggest problems – corruption on every level without taking people lives into account. I bet Sewol isn’t the only one ferry in South Korea that sails on the Korean waters every day.

        And it’s not only that – it goes with everything. Fake certificates from nuclear power plants, through the army to ferries…

  • Zappa Frank

    That Captain makes seem Schettino of Costa Concordia a good guy…

  • YueYungui

    This is a very sad story. My heart goes out to Korea at this time. I hope they rescue as many people as they can. Loss of life like this, so quickly, is something we can never predict. The heroism a lot of these people displayed gives me hope.

  • bultak23

    “침몰한 세월호뿐 아니라, 어쩌면 한국사회 전체가 침몰하고 있으며, 우리는 ‘침착하게 제자리를 지켜라’ 라는 윗사람들의 말만 믿고 살아가는 존재들이 아닌가 하는 불안함을 숨길 수가 없다”.

    Maybe it’s not just Sewol but the entire Korean society that is sinking. I cannot hide my fear that we are probably living on, believing the empty words from the bigwigs that “we should calmly remain in our seats”.

    i would have to agree with the above statement. blindly following orders of superiors can lead to disaster. please use your own judgement.

    • commander

      That calls for active participation in the upcoming local election in early June.

      Without holding accountable those in elected office who put private interests above public ones, it is almost impossible to anticipate an effective, responsible governance.

      We need to vote for a leader who is competent and prescient enough to guide us to avoid pitfalls in the June election.

    • John I.B.C. Madison

      You must be braindead.

      When the captain of the ship issues an order, passengers of any nationality, ethnicity, and culture would obey that order—because they assume the expertise and the situational awareness of the captain with a vantage view of what’s happening is greater than that of an individual passenger below deck.

      That’s what happened in Costa Concordia, in Sewol, and in any and all accidents involving ships. You listen to what the captain says, cuz he/she is the CAPTAIN.

      Costa Concordia had a bad captain, and Sewol did too.
      That’s all it is.
      Stop spewing uninformed, braindead lectures about Korean society.

      • bultak23

        well ok, you have the right to think what you want. however, this story just gets worse and worse. according to the bbc the cabins were refitted a year ago with unregulated and shoddy construction that could have contributed to the sinking. also, the ferry was carrying thousands of tons more cargo than is legal and the captain falsified the records. this also could have caused the sinking. blindly trusting and following orders of superiors can lead to disaster especially if they are corrupt. use your god given judgement at every opportunity. even the old confucian argument of obeying elders does not hold up and is attenuated with exceptions in the analects, “do not follow corrupt and immoral leaders, run from them.”

        • John I.B.C. Madison

          I mean I guess the reason why the passengers didn’t jump was BECAUSE THE PASSENGERS KNEW that the captain was a corrupt, incompetent, and cowardly dogshit?

          I mean, clearly the passengers were omniscient yet incredibly stupid at the same time, since, as you claim, they knew the captain was a sorry excuse for a human being, yet they somehow chose to listen to that shitbag?

          Can you even hear what braindead shit you’re spewing?

          What sane person wouldn’t disobey the orders of a corrupt, incompetent piece of shit, Korean or no Korean?
          THEY SIMPLY DID NOT KNOW THAT THE CAPTAIN WAS GIVING THEM A BAD ORDER. And that’s because they were several stories below deck and did not know what the hell was happening to the ship, not because they gave up their own capacity for judgement.

          • Sillian

            You are making realistic and sharply on-point comments. I like sharpshooters. It would help your argument if you just use more moderate language.

  • Keeping it real

    This is why you don’t let woman behind the wheel, especially Korean women, when you do, things like this happen. This also shows that Koreans do not know how to lead when it counts.

    • chucky3176

      It was just matter of training. She was being trained, so where was the captain then? Why he left her alone, which is against the law? This had nothing to do with sex of the driver.

      • Boris_Da_Bengal_Tiger

        This person is trolling. Ignore it.

    • Doge Wallace

      Which people know how to lead when it counts?

  • zachary T

    such a sad story. KoreaBang, thank you for giving a great overview of the information so far. it could not have been easy in the early days with so much misinformation. Also thank you for telling the stories of the people who helped others escape, All we would have heard about in the US was the captain that abandoned his ship with no mention of passengers taking matters in their own hands. thank you.

  • Keeping it real

    Serves the Korean right for trying to claim Takashima as their own. They illegally took possession of property that wasnt theirs, and now they are paying the untimate price

    • lonetrey / Dan


    • BabyBabyA


    • kpopwillneverstop

      No. Uh-uh. You’re not gonna start this shit because if a disaster happens in Japan after this one and korean netizens left ugly comments just like yours, you’d be pissed off at them.

      If you want Japan to be better than Korea, then at least start by not leaving immature and disgusting comments because you’re really making Japan look foolish to not only koreans, but to other people around the world.

    • Racist bozos are brainless

      Man what will it take for you to be a human being ? I remember having debated you on the “comfort women” issue on kbang. your views on that issue were equally vile. Its sad to see you are still the inhuman barbarian you always were ! Innocent teens who will never be able to experience life like you & I have, the immense grief their parents must feel, who must’ve worked so hard to give these children a chance at life & all you can do is bray about those cursed mounds of pterodactyl droppings ? How about you open your fowl pie hole & yap about the fukushima disaster, which is of an area & significance much greater than these silly islands ? The immense corruption( government+industry) that went into giving japan the fukushima disaster is of much greater concern than those islands, which if you haven’t noticed, dont belong to japan but to korea at the present moment. So in short you are the imbecile who wants to rush after two mythical birds in the bush and readily, happily let go of the singular bird of substance, in hand !

      • Racist bozos are brainless

        I am not japanese but i am an admirer of Japan, I love japan & I try very hard to remind people that the japanese are some of the best people on earth. But do you know, no korean is going to reply to your spasticated comment, these people are very smart, they’ve definitely read your comment, they wont dignify it with a reply. What they will do is go on 10, 20 other websites/forums and malign all of japan and tirelessly work towards making the japanese look bad in front of the world and they got the impetus from crappy comments by immature fools like you. And they are totally justified in their actions, and they are succeeding in turning world view against the japanese ! YOU IDIOT STOP SPOILING THINGS FOR JAPAN !

    • Racist bozos are brainless


  • lonetrey / Dan

    I teared up after reading about the little boy who gave his vest to his sister.

    • chucky3176

      A little background story on that:


      The crying girl was found by a 16 year old boy who handed the girl to the rescuers. The teen boy survived.

      In the Korean news, I read that their parents worked as cleaners who worked hard, and saved enough money buy a land in Jeju island. The mother came from Vietnam, who married the Korean father. They were moving to Jeju island, to run a new orange farm. They scraped and saved for this, and they were finally going to open up new prosperous lives. They even planned to adopt a mentally disabled child once they got settled. Until this disaster struck.

      The public authorities couldn’t locate her next of kin, until couple of days ago. Luckily her relatives stepped in after a mixup with the spelling of her name. Unfortunately the orphaned girl is not doing well, psychologically traumatized, in shock, still crying for her mother, father, and brother. She will need long term counselling to heal the wound left forever.

      • lonetrey / Dan

        Dammit Chucky…. Now… Now I feel even sadder for that little girl.

        Thank you for the update though.

        • wrle

          I teared up the most on the news where divers found the bodies of two identical twins with their life jackets tied together. Born together and died together. I cant imagine how horrible it must have been and the pain their parents and family are going through.

  • guest

    This is hardly the first time a boat has capsized while sinking, and as early as the Titanic, escape have been hampered when the boat tilted – so shouldn’t ships be designed so that escape is still possible after tilting – especially since car ferries are very prone to tilting?

    Public buses have an escape hatch built into the /ceiling/, this way, when the bus ends up resting on its side after an accident, the passenger can escape through that hatch when the ceiling (and floor) have become the walls.

  • ytuque

    Korean ajeossis put their safety before women and children.

    • wrle

      These crew are scums.

      • MintyBadger

        Wait til you find out what the company is guilty of….you’ll forget all about how badly the crew acted.

  • Smith_90125

    The actions of the captain are not the least bit surprising. It’s exactly the same as other disasters in Korea:

    * the Daegu subway fire, nearly 200 killed
    * the Seongsu Bridge collapse, 32 killed
    * the Sampoong department store collapse, 500+ killed
    * the Sealand camp fire disaster, 23 killed (19 adults, 4 children)
    * the cholera outbreak in Daegu tap water, 2001 (80 dead)


    In ALL these incidents, the same things happened: those who had a responsiblity to protect people walked away and left people to die. They didn’t care about the consequences because it wasn’t happening to themselves.

    According to confucianist bullshit, the only people to be concerned about are those you know (family, coworkers, friends). The lives and safety of strangers don’t matter. It’s exactly the same behaviour you’ll see in Korean, Taiwanese and Chinese drivers, the weaving and speeding, the driving on sidewalks. They couldn’t care less about people they don’t know. It’s all “self, self, self” except around people they’re forced to show respect to.

    • bigmamat

      For a culture that talks a lot about respect and politeness it does seem that the Korean idea of being polite is only for show, not practice. Koreans on the internet get into a huff all the time about some vague “rudeness” committed by celebrities and athletes but in their day to day lives Koreans seem to be pretty rude to each other. I find it hard to believe that all the stories I read about Korean driving could be fabricated.

      • tomoe723

        I’m not surprised about this. Even in the US, fellow Koreans despise each other. This is not my personal opinion, a fellow Korean friend told me this herself.

    • elizabeth

      Bullshit? That’s a tad too harsh on Confucius. This is the Age of Individualism after all. Selfishness is everywhere, north, south, east and west of the globe. In fact, we can learn much from many of his wise and inspirational sayings. The world could have been a better place if only more had heeded his advise.

      If anyone is to be blamed, it’s the greedy and unscrupulous owner of the ferry company. Either that or fault his incompetence in hiring people. A man without principles will not engage one who has to run his ship.

      • Smith_90125

        No. Confucianism has a ludicrous “five rules for a harmonious society”:

        “older and younger”
        “senior and junior”
        “male and female”
        “parent and child”
        “friend and friend”


        Where you see “and”, substitute “over”, because that’s the real intent and practice. “Subordinates” are supposed to put up with the crap dished out by “superiors” and not complain about it. (See also: male privilege, white privilege, et al.)

        It’s why husbands and boyfriends assault wives and girlfriends in public (not just in the home), why the chaebol engage in unethical practices (re: Namyang’s milk scandal), why politicians and police take bribes (because nobody saw it at the time), why employers treat employees like crap (e.g. not paying promised wages), why hit-and-run accidents happen everywhere, endless instances of road rage, vandalism, etc. They think nobody will get involved because usually, nobody does.

        It’s also why you see a lot of passive-aggressive behaviour in these countries. People are lashing out at strangers because they are “lower” in their personal lives (e.g. street cleaners who park their carts in the middle of the road to block traffic, people deliberately walking in front of others on sidewalks).

        • elizabeth

          You hit the nail in the head with ‘the real intent’. It is the real intent of those who abuse ideologies and systems to their own advantage, but not the real intent of Confucius. If you look beyond these ‘rules’, to his other sayings, how many people really put them into practice?

          It’s ‘and’, not ‘over’. It’s not Confucianism you should be attacking but those who replace the ‘and’ with ‘over’.

          And by the way, I think those ‘rules’ you highlighted are pretty good ones.

  • Concerned Korean American

    Korea deserves better leadership than this. However, unless Koreans protest and rebel against the authorities, the change will not happen.

  • guest

    Please please, let the little boy who saved his sister somehow be found alive, that picture of them holding hands is breaking my heart.

    • chucky3176

      This has been completely depressing week for me, and for most of Korea. The story of this girl made national headlines, has made the entire country sad. But these drawings of the two children, by our sympathetic Thai friends is very much appreciated in Korea.



      • guest

        It’s heartwarming that those children drew this, but an adult, I just don’t think things would be alright at this point.

        It’s so cruel, that all these highschool kids with their summer and their whole lives ahead of them are now dead, or in mourning of so many. It’s too cruel, that the little girl who was saved probably won’t even get the brother who held her hand back.

        Reports are conflicting, some says that the little boy gave the girl his lifejacket, and then him and his mom lifted her up. Others say that he alone brought her up to the deck of the ship, and then he went back down to look for his parents.

        At this point, I just wish that they could recover all the bodies, and quick, I just read in the Star today, that a father who found his son’s body, throw a fit that his son was still alive, and performed CPR, but there was a stench, and he later found that an eye was decayed.

        It’s time to use the crane, it’s been a week, nobody could be alive in there. People were hopeful at first because of a prior case with Nigerian survivor Harrison Okene – but the situation was completely different. Okene was on a tugboat, it was only 2-3 days, and his air pocket was dense with oxygen due to the fact that the boat sink deep undersea. A ferry have too much windows.

        Those poor kids were probably dead within minutes. I heard that this pastor comments about lost fingernails – but that could have happened post-mortem. Fingernails appear to grow after death when the flesh retreats – the water probably speeds up the separation.

      • linette lee

        Someone new has entered

        our eternal home above.
        The heavenly gate has opened wide
        to welcome the one we love.
        We cannot help the tears that fall-
        our hearts need time to grieve
        when earthly life has ended
        and a loved one has to leave.
        Yet even in the saddest time,
        we know our Savior lives,
        and we can trust completely
        in the promise that he gives.
        That in a glad reunion with the Lord,
        our loved ones wait
        to welcome us in joy
        with no more tears
        beyond the gate!

      • reality check!

        Dam you Chucky!!! you just made me cry… these picture are just too hard to look at…

        The profound sadness that overwhelmed me by the these two illustrations moved me deeply… I need to hug my family… and go cry a little bit more…

  • chucky3176

    OK, reading the transcripts of the conversation that was going on between the coast guard, the rescuers, and the sinking ship, it’s pretty clear that the captain of the ship was responsible for the deaths by not evacuating the ship in time.

    The distress call came to the coast guard around 9.00am. In 7 minutes, a ship that was nearby was dispatched to rescue the passengers. In 10 minutes, coastguard helicopters arrived. And within half hour, the area was crawling with dozens of rescue ships, both coast guard and civilian ships nearby who were asked to help. So all the reports that the Korean coast guards blew it by not showing up in time, are blatantly false bull shit.

    The first ship that arrived radioed the distressed ship to evacuate the passengers now, because they are ready to pick them up. But the distressed ship keeps ignoring the ship and keeps repeating, we can’t move so we can’t evacuate, are the rescuers here yet? In the meantime, the ship broadcasts six times, telling the passengers to not move and hold still. Yet the captain orders his crew to get ready for evacuation after 20 minutes, then on the 30th minute he takes himself and his operations crew off the ship. The service crew whose job was to take care of the passengers were abandoned and they probably died with the passengers. In the meantime, the ships and boats nearby are wondering where are all the passengers, why aren’t they outside?.. and calling on the ship to evacuate the passengers, because they were ready to pick them up. But of course, since the captain left without any further instructions, there will be no orders to evacuate the ship. I’m sure many passengers tried to get off the ship only when it was too late, as witnessed by the 5 year old lone survivor, who was pushed through a small opening (she was the last one out of the opening, the rest were trapped, including her family).

  • timothy235

    What a horrible tragedy. My heart goes out to the families.

  • whuddyasack

    A very tragic read about an overwhelming disaster. I feel sorry for all the families and friends as well as all those on board.

    Thank you for compiling all the stories of heroism so far. It was painful and admirable reading what they had done and their sacrifices, each and every one of them were special. If there were things that make you feel some glimmer of hope about the human race inspite of all the tragedies of the world, this would be it.

  • aasdf

    I think the saddest thing about this accident was that many deaths could have been prevented, if only they had evacuated to the deck, since it sounds like a lot of people had time to find and put on life jackets and just wait.

    • guest

      Let’s see, in the initial report, it was survivors (who jumped into the water), and missing people (who stayed inside the boat) – the body count rose when divers breached inside the boat.

      I think this means that pretty much everyone who jumped into the waters had survived. Or their bodies would have been found free floating?

      The captain did worse than nothing when he ordered the kids to stay below the deck so they won’t get between him and the first lifeboat.

  • Guest

    Koreans are being punished for lying about comfort women prostitutes and takeshima.

    • wrle

      oh my god. you are like parasites. please shut up.

      • dk_1111

        It’s a troll. Just ignore.

      • Hi, hope you remember me, my condolence for this time tragedy.
        Actually, some Japanese Netouyo guys are posting something unspeakable, but hardly believable some of them can come here, posting in English.
        I hope not.

    • cb4242

      But the Japanese are always, always honest. I live in Japan. Don’t hate on Koreans just because your time as a superpower has long been past. Jealousy breeds contempt! Troll, go back under the bridge.

    • What are you ha?
      Some creepy weeaboo?
      I don’t think you are one of us.

    • japanese Y

      You should go to see a mental doctor.
      Are you AHO-NETOUYO?

  • wrle

    This is really tragic.. Its just difficult to comprehend such a huge loss of young lives.

  • Thereisagod

    God’s retribution. Koreans only have themselves to blame

    • Boris_Da_Bengal_Tiger

      can the mod get rid of these troll comments?

    • cb4242

      That was a heartless and downright nasty thing to say!

    • rael

      koreans know better than anyone else they only have themselves to blame for the tragedy. If you cant condone, then at least have some decency.

    • unreal…

      Pray to God that he does not visit the same on you, for not showing your fellow man the love the wants all Christians to share… You, are a sad example of what I assume to be a Christian… if you are a not and simply trolling… you earned yourself some real karma points with this post…

      Same goes for those who up voted your comments.

      Pray that you do not have to suffer the loss of a child… if you do… I hope you remember your “kind” comment…

  • candlee

    I’m really disappointed in how this situation was handled. more people could have been rescued. imagine those poor people suffering under the cold water for so long.. bless them.

  • Wholehearted condolence to the victims and the families, and the teacher, from me and my folks.

    And please don’t see any of scribbles that Japanese Netouyos are posting on Japanese web, these are just something that mentally disarranged guys do.

    • Samurai Blue

      You are not Japanese. You look like dead Korean face inside the undersea ship . You are Korean.

      • Check my blog, I put up photos of my national registration.
        Check my Twitter, see what you have to see.
        話つけようじゃん。日 本 語 で。

      • Hm?
        Or you are a creepy weeaboo?
        Not able to deal with a Japanese-Japanese business with me?

  • Samurai Blue

    Korea government refused Japanese aid to offer Japan navy to rescue Korea ship victims. How unbelievable and utterly foolish Koreans! It’s because Koreans irrational in hating Japan. It was good chance that Japanese navy would have saved them all. But anti-Japanese Korea just let choose death to their own people. It is a foolish Korean country. Your own national Oh Son Wa says Koreans are that stupid. She said Japan shouldn’t deal with this foolish country anymore. Japan sacrificed Japan to kindly and mercilessly save Korea in 1910 and gave many good things to foolish backward Koreans. But after war Korea betray Japan with comfort woman false history and anti Japanese attitude. Japan shouldn’t help Korea anymore. Japan will banish Korea and close Japanese embassy in Seoul. Korea will isolate in the world.

    • wrle

      Koreans don’t hate japan. Every country that offered condolences for the ferry sinking has also offered aid as a goodwill gesture, not only japan. Because of the nature of the accident and rapid sinking of the ferry, accepting foreign assistance sadly would not have made much of a difference. I have seen many miserable trolls like you but also kind japanese people who have given condolences. don’t ruin it for them, because you are only making your country look bad.

      • chucky3176

        Japanese offer to aid the search and rescue came two days after the ship sunk. I’m sure the great Japanese navy would have saved all those people by raising them from the dead. Yeah right. Thanks for the offer, much appreciated, but why do I have a bad feeling in my mouth, looking at all the less than gracious responses by Japanese neighbor who were hurt by this rejection. They were offended that their offer of “aid” was rejected by a country that they regard as less of Japan, than the victims of the sunken ship.

        What’s appalling are some of the anti Korean articles being printed in some of their media. Not that it’s that unusual, mind you. They even use their favorite face madame, Ms. Oh Seon Hwa, the Korean born woman who took up Japanese citizenship who have become an anti Korean spokesman, going around Japan, giving lectures to the Japanese rightwing what they want to hear. What she said about all Koreans regarding this tragedy, will only hurt the victims second time again. Absolutely no compassion at all, these people.

        • chucky3176

          When I say ‘these people’, I don’t mean Japanese people like Michiko, obviously.

        • wrle

          It’s just another bashing opportunity for japanese right wingers. They will always try to find something to nitpick about korea. Doesn’t even upset me anymore.

          • reality check!

            I agree with you… Trolling season just opened up in Japan and they are more than happy to jump on board to dig at SK… sad really…

    • Sillian

      It was good chance that Japanese navy would have saved them all.

      Don’t tell me you said that with a straight face. There are better things to do than trolling on the internet. Take some fresh air first.

    • Dennis

      Troll. You aren’t Japanese, you are just trying to shit stir. could you have chosen are more cliched name for a faux-japanese troll.

    • 伊藤浩士

      My condolence to the victims and the families, and all the Korean people

      Mr. Samurai Blue &chucky3176

      I am a friend of Michiko.
      Are you a Japanese?
      If it is not a Japanese, I will think that it wants without writing slandering South Korea in a position of Japan.
      If you are a Japanese, please reply to my question in Japanese.
      Michiko is a Japanese.
      What is your nationality?
      Please answer your nationality before making Michiko into a Korean.
      If you are a Japanese, please answer in Japanese.

      ミスターSamurai Blue









  • Sayanee48

    I can’t imagine how awful their last moments must have been… I’ve read that some recovered bodies had their fingers broken and their nails fallen out.. They must have been so so scared and tried to find a way out. I’ve also heard that 2 bodies were discovered and after the autopsy it was discovered that one of them died a few minutes before the divers came in. And seeing his friend die near him, and being the last to die… Other students proably died the last too… The worst is that some students apparently realized that they’d die and held their student ID card in their hand. I feel so numb just to think that some of them lived several days waiting for recue, it makes me sick.
    Rest in peace.

  • Yaminah Jamison

    I hate how sad, depressing articles gotta have the most ignorant troll-y people on it. I thank commander and chucky for extra insight of the story. Makes me even more sad but more well informed.

  • elizabeth

    As much as I sympathize with the families of the victims, the divers deserve more appreciation than the crap they are receiving from some of the parents. They risked their lives to search for not only dead but decomposing bodies around the clock. If that isn’t traumatic and depressing, it’s still hard and tiring work.

    They should to be thanked for their efforts.

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  • himchansdick

    I wept when I saw the 2 children. A 6 year old boy made a mature decision to save his younger sister. You don’t see many young kids with that sense of maturity these days, especially at 6.

  • Kiwi

    This is terrible

  • Kevin Londong

    damn if all of them jump to sea probably not gonna worst like this and probably only got hypotermia but its fine this not 1980 time right ? like titanic

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