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#4645258 - 04/15/24 08:25 PM 10 Years ago MV Sewol  
Joined: Aug 2013
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wormfood Offline
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wormfood  Offline
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In the morning of April 16 2014 the MV Sewol a ferry enroute to Jeju Island from Incheon capsized with the loss of 304 people, mostly high school students.

Chonhaejin acquired it in 2012 and made considerable changes to it to allow for more passengers and vehicles. This changed the center of gravity much higher on the ship. Oftentimes they would overload it and normally didn't use enough ballast water. This made the ferry very unstable. It was only able to perform gentle turns of no more than 5 degrees at a time.

The ship passed the Maenggol channel, which was listed by Korean maritime agencies as dangerous due to the strong currents in the area and recommended for ferries to avoid it. Chonghaejin continued to use it to save 7km of the journey rather than go around. Upon exiting the channel the ship made the first of two 5 degree turns. The second one though was a sharp 15 degrees turn. Since the center of gravity was moved so high it heeled over just past it's point of recovery. Adding to this, the vehicles and cargo were unsecured and proceeded to crash into the listing side making it heel over more.

The crew did try to use the anti heeling pumps to move the ballast. It might have worked, but: 1) they didn't have enough ballast. 2) the pumps were broken. Passengers were told to don life jackets and remain where they were. They did call the Korean coast guard for help and the patrol vessel 123 as well as a few helicopters showed up quickly, as did a nearby civilian tanker Doola Ace. Nobody on the rescue helicopter tried to enter the vessel to see if anyone else was on board. Vessel 123 did eventually moor to the bow of the Sewol where they inflated 2 lifeboats and evacuated the bridge crew. Eventually they did board it, but they only went to the bridge and seeing it empty, they left and cast off of the Sewol.

Yeah, the captain was the first off the ship. He took off his uniform and passed himself off as a passenger. Never telling anyone that there were something like 400 people aboard who were told to stay in their cabins. When the list hit 60 degrees a few of the teachers got some of the students together and climbed to the top to signal the helicopters and were rescued that way. No one on the choppers bothered to enter the ship to see if it was empty nor did they seem to ask those rescued if there was anyone else on board.

When it was almost capsized a number of peole scrabled out and were picked up mostly by civilian fishing boats that showed up to assist. Vessel 123 did then deploy it's inflatable to pick up some more passengers. This is when most of those that got rescued, were taken off the ship. There was about 1 hour and 23 minutes where the list was minimal with rescue personnel onboard who could have evacuated the ship, but nobody was communicating, the ships crew was unhelpful, no one on site took initiative (except a few teachers and adult passengers) and the ships crew wasn't even trained on any evacuation procceedures. All the passengers got was a looping message telling them to don life jackets and remain where they were. Eventually the ship was recovered along with the cell phone videos taken by the doomed passengers. It's heartbreaking tale.


Too long to read? Here's a great video on it:


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#4645259 - 04/15/24 08:38 PM Re: 10 Years ago MV Sewol [Re: wormfood]  
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wormfood Offline
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wormfood  Offline
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But wait, there's more! If you thought a company being cheap by putting dangerous mods on a ship, cutting the corner through the channel, overloading the ship, not securing cargo, and not training their crews was bad enough. Wait until you hear about:
The coast guards lack of response
The Korean Government lying to victim's families about rescue efforts
The Korean Government turning away help from civilians, the Japanese navy and the US Navy.
The government only going looking like they were doing rescue while attacking the press that questioned otherwise.
Kim Ji Young a civilian diver who tried rescued several people and fought with the government to do more turns up murdered.

Yeah, it got worse. It was a real mess in Korea. It eventually led to the longest protest in Korean history. As they complained and looked into Park Geun-hye it eventually led into her impeachment and imprisonment later.




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