World / Asia-Pacific

Communications between sunken ferry, traffic center disclosed

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-04-20 17:31

JINDO, South Korea - Last-minute communications between a sunken South Korean ferry and a vessel traffic center were disclosed Sunday by the pan-government emergency management headquarters.

Communications between sunken ferry, traffic center disclosed

 Passengers wait for words

Communications between sunken ferry, traffic center disclosed

'I am sorry,' captain says

Full communication logs between the "Sewol" ferry and Jindo vessel traffic service (VTS) showed many passengers may have lost chances to escape from the ship because of the captain's misjudgment.

After sending a distress signal to Jeju VTS at 8:55 a.m. local time Wednesday, the ferry had kept communications with the Jindo VTS more than 10 times from 9:07 a.m. to 9:38 a.m.

The 6,825-ton passenger ship departed South Korea's western port city of Incheon Tuesday night for the southern resort island of Jeju, carrying 476 people that included 325 high school students and 15 teachers on their way for a four-day field trip.

At 9:07 a.m., the Jindo VTS contacted the ferry for the first time, asking whether the ship was sinking. The Jindo VTS already knew about the fact due to an earlier SOS dispatch to Jeju VTS. The Jindo traffic center at once asked nearby boats to rush to the scene and help passengers leave the vessel.

At 9:12 a.m., the Jindo VTS asked whether passengers were riding on life boats. In response, the Sewol said the ship tilted so heavily that passengers were unable to move.

Two minutes later, probably a fishing boat, which first arrived at the scene, told the Jindo VTS that some life boats were escaping from the ferry, but the Sewol said it was impossible for passengers to leave the vessel.

At 9:17 a.m., the Sewol said the ferry was leaning at 50 degrees left to the waters, under which passengers cannot move. Someone on the Sewol, believed to be the ship's captain, said he ordered sailors to wait dressed in life jackets but was unable to guarantee it. Sailors who gathered on the bridge were prevented from moving, he said.

During the half-hour pressing dialogue, the communicator never mentioned passengers who had been ordered to stay where they were via loudspeakers.

Trudeau visits Sina Weibo
May gets little gasp as EU extends deadline for sufficient progress in Brexit talks
Ethiopian FM urges strengthened Ethiopia-China ties
Yemen's ex-president Saleh, relatives killed by Houthis
Most Popular
Hot Topics