Weather again delays lifting S Korean ferry

2016-06-27 17:29
The giant crane that will lift up the sunken Sewol ferry. (Yonhap, AFP)

The giant crane that will lift up the sunken Sewol ferry. (Yonhap, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Seoul - Bad weather and high tides have again delayed the resumption of operations to raise South Korea's sunken Sewol ferry, the maritime ministry said on Monday.

The vessel was carrying 476 people when it went down off the southwestern island of Jindo in April 2014, leaving 304 people dead - mostly school children - in one of the country's worst maritime disasters.

After already being pushed back once due to bad weather, the salvage operation had been scheduled to resume on Tuesday but has now been put off for another two weeks.

"The operations for raising the bow and installing lifting beams have been inevitably delayed to July 11 due to bad weather, including high tide and winds," the maritime ministry said in a statement.

"Because the lifting of the bow section is a very challenging operation... it can only be conducted when the tide is below one metre," it added.

The tide is forecast to be around 2- to 4m in the next few days, according to the ministry.

It is thought that nine bodies still unaccounted for may still be trapped inside the sunken ship, and raising the ferry intact was a key demand of the victims' families.

The 6 825 ton ferry lies more than 40m below the surface and the process of actually lifting it off the seabed began earlier this month - only to be suspended a day later due to adverse weather conditions.

The salvage effort is expected to cost around $72m and is being led by a Chinese consortium.

The initial schedule envisaged bringing the ferry to the surface by late July, but the ministry later revised its likely timeline to August - depending on conditions during the July monsoon season.

Investigations into the Sewol disaster concluded it was largely a man-made tragedy - the cumulative result of an illegal redesign, an overloaded cargo bay, inexperienced crew and a questionable relationship between the ship operators and state regulators.

Captain Lee Jun-Seok was sentenced to life in prison for "murder through wilful negligence" and sentences ranging from two to 12 years were handed down to 14 other crew.

Read more on:    south korea  |  weather

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.