S Korea ferry ‘steered by inexperienced third mate’

S Korea ferry ‘steered by inexperienced third mate’

S Korea ferry ‘steered by inexperienced third mate’

Written by Staff Writer

20 Apr, 2014 | 10:04 am

The South Korean ferry that sank on Wednesday was steered by an inexperienced third mate who had never navigated the challenging waters where the accident occurred, prosecutors say.

The third mate is in custody along with the captain and another crew member.

Coastguards confirmed on Saturday that divers had retrieved 13 more bodies from the ferry, bringing the number of confirmed dead to 46.

Some 174 passengers have been rescued, with another 256 still missing.

Recovery operations may take two months, officials say, as the divers battle strong currents and poor visibility to reach the sunken vessel.

“Divers broke through the window of a passenger cabin… and pulled out three bodies,” a coastguard official told the AFP news agency on Saturday.

All three were wearing lifejackets, he added.

The Sewol, carrying 476 passengers and crew, capsized during a journey from the port of Incheon in the north-west to the southern holiday island of Jeju.

Ferry captain Lee Joon-seok, 69 – who was not initially on the bridge – faces charges including negligence of duty and violation of maritime law.





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