The South Korean Coast Guard on Monday released footage of captain Lee Joon-seok fleeing the passenger ferry Sewol as it sank in coastal waters off Jindo Island on 16 April.
In the video Lee, wearing only a sweater and underpants, can be seen leaping from the sinking ferry, which is tilted about 45 degrees, onto a rescue boat.
According to Kim Kyung-il, a coast guard official, the ship’s crew members did not tell rescuers that they were crew members.
“Regardless of which part of the ship the people may have come from, they all wore life vests, so we could not tell if a person was crew or a passenger,” Kim told journalists gathered in Jindo port.
A DIVER DIE DURING THE RESCUE OPERATION - A civilian diver involved in searches for dozens of missing people from the South Korean ferry disaster died on Tuesday, as other divers helped by better weather and easing ocean currents were picking up efforts to retrieve more bodies from the sunken ship.
The Sewol carried 476 people, most of them students from a single high school near Seoul, when it sank off South Korea’s southern coast on April 16. Only 174 survived, including 22 of the 29 crew members. The sinking left more than 260 people dead, with about 40 others still missing.
On Tuesday, one civilian diver died at a hospital after becoming unconscious, government task force spokesman Ko Myung-seok said in a statement. He is the first fatality among divers mobilised following the ferry’s sinking, according to the coast guard.
The 53-year-old diver was pulled to the surface by fellow divers after losing communication about five minutes after he began underwater searches, Ko said. It was his first search attempt, Ko added.
Despite his death, divers are continuing their searches on Tuesday with the authorities believing most of the remaining missing people are in 64 of the ship’s 111 areas. Ko said divers have searched all those 64 areas at least once and plan to revisit them again to look for more victims.