Caught on camera: Dramatic footage of ferry captain abandoning ship

Caught on camera: Dramatic footage of ferry captain abandoning ship

The South Korean Coast Guard has released a video that captures the Captain of the ill-fated South Korean Ferry escaping, while over 400 passengers were still stuck onboard the sinking vessel, in an article by the South China Morning Post.

The dramatic footage, released on Monday morning, shows the ferry listing heavily to its port side, and its 69-year-old captain, Lee Joon-seok being helped by rescuers.

Stranded passengers onboard the ferry were instructed to stay put in their cabins by Lee. The evacuation order was only issued half an hour later, which was too late.

According to a spokesman from the South Korean Coast Guard, the crew members did not divulge their identities as they were hauled off the sinking ferry.

All 15 surviving crew members were later arrested by South Korean authorities. They face charges ranging from criminal negligence to abandoning passengers.

The ferry, Sewol, later capsized on April 16 with 476 passengers onboard.

Inclement weather and dangerous conditions have hampered rescue efforts so far. More than 100 bodies are still unaccounted for, with most of the missing and dead being high school students.

South Korea has asked China and Japan to look out for bodies that may wash up on their shores.

The search for bodies is now confined to eight-kilometre radius around the wreckage, Yonhap news agency said, citing officials.

South Korean authorities expanded their probe into the maritime disaster to include the Coast Guard and Jeju Vessel Traffic Service (VTS).

Communications log and surveillance camera records were seized by investigators, as more search warrants were being issued.

These latest raid follows an initial raid done on the Jindo VTS office on Saturday.

According to an AFP report, Jindo VTS failed to acknowledge the situation of the ferry for 18 minutes from the occurrence.

grongloh@sph.com.sg

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