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wmfd.com - Nearly 200 people are still missing after a ferry sank off the coast of South Korea.

South Korea Sunken Ship, Survivability And Recovery

Story By: Larry Stine



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Nearly 200 people are still missing after a ferry sank off the coast of South Korea. The day that happened, 174 people were rescued. There has not been a single rescue since. The question now becomes, could anyone have survived nearly a week inside the sunken ship. As crews recovered more bodies, the death toll rose steadily, Tuesday morning, to more than 100, a grim milestone for divers, for whom the search has been incredibly difficult. "Not only is if dark, but there's a lot of sediment and stuff getting moved around," says Alan Kipping-Ruane, a former U.S. Navy Rescue Swimmer. "It's almost like a sand cloud where you can't see your hand right in front of your face." "The conditions are so bad, my heart aches," says Bard Yoon, a rescue diver. "We're going in thinking there may be survivors. When we have to come back with nothing, we can't even face the families." More than six days after the ferry started to sink off the coast of South Korea, divers face the possibility that, even with potential air pockets, there may not be anyone left alive. "I sort of thought it was right around the three to four day mark, and once you get past that, probably not," says Cade Courtley, a former Navy Seal. "It's a function how big the compartment was and how much air is in it," says Admiral Than Allen, former commandant, U.S. Coast Guard (retired). "Sooner or later, you'll run out of air." But rescuers refuse to give up hope. "I believe there is a possibility there's still people down there," says Kipping-Ruane. "I was a rescue swimmer in the navy and we fight to try and make sure that person's alive, even if we're told the likely chance isn't." Seven crew members have been arrested in connection with the boat sinking. The ferry captain faces several charges. The company operating the ferry posted an apology on its web site. It reads, in part: "We prostrate ourselves before the victims' families and beg for your forgiveness. We pray with all our hearts that there will be survivors. We beg for forgiveness from the victims' families and pray for the dead."

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