Three of four giant cranes arrived early Friday in the scene to help pull up the sunken ferry in Jindo, South Jeolla Province, officials said.
Three massive cranes -- 2,300-ton, 2,000-ton and 1,200-ton machines -- are standing by at the scene until another crane arrives. The fourth, 3,350-ton crane is expected to arrive at around 1 p.m., sources said.
The salvage operation to pull the ferry out of the waters will not be carried out without the consent of the families of the missing people, officials said. Any mishandling of the ship could lead to a loss of oxygen, which is critical for potential survivors, they added.