Text From Passenger on Ferry: 'Dad, Don't Worry'
Search continues with 290 missing
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2014 6:08 PM CDT
South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong-won is shielded by his bodyguards from angry relatives of passengers.   (AP Photo/Yonhap)

(Newser) – With angry, grieving relatives looking on from shore, South Korean divers continued to search for any sign of the roughly 290 people still missing from yesterday's ferry sinking, reports Reuters. Of the 475 people on board—most of them teenagers—179 were rescued and six have been confirmed dead. Survivor accounts suggest the rest got trapped in the ferry as water rushed in. ABC News has some wrenching texts, including these:

  • "Dad, don't worry. I've got a life vest on and we're huddled together," wrote an 18-year-old girl. When her father told her to try to make her way to safety, she responded, "Dad, I can't walk out. The corridor is full of kids, and it's too tilted." She remains missing.
  • "Mom, I might not be able to tell you in person. I love you," wrote a male student to his mother, who was unaware of the ferry's trouble. He was among those rescued.

Other survivors say people inside obeyed orders issued on the PA system to remain where they were, which might have been a deadly mistake. "The rescue wasn't done well," says an adult male survivor as quoted by AP. "We were wearing life jackets. We had time. If people had jumped into the water ... they could have been rescued. But we were told not to go out." The water is about 54 degrees Fahrenheit, cold enough to start causing problems after 90 minutes. Relatives, meanwhile, are losing patience. "If I could teach myself to dive, I would jump in the water and try to find my daughter," says one. The cause of the accident remains unknown.

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Apr 17, 2014 11:34 AM CDT
May God bring comfort to all who are touched by this horrendous accident. I feel very sad. If they would ask for our opinions, I would suggest that areas should be built at the bottom to hold inflatable bags to deploy that in the events such as this, the impact would open the bags and keep the boat floating while emergency help arrives. The same should be done with aircrafts that fall into the sea because with the bags, the planes would not sink into the deep sea and people would have a chance for survival. There are people with high academic degrees that don't think of these ideas... which reminds me of a big trailer that was stuck because it was too high to go through an overpass, and engineers were brought to come up with a solution; then, a little boy suggested: "let some of the air out of the tires!: and, yes, a little boy had more know wisdom than those who earned high academic degrees. God is wonderful. The Bible states that God will give wisdom to the simple to confuse the wise! Wow..... May God comfort all the people who feel the sadness for this people. I feel great sadness. God bless America, God bless all the good people in the world and touch the hearts of the evil people.
Apr 16, 2014 7:48 PM CDT
It may sound heartless, but I've read that people who escape situations like this sinking, or a plane crash, are those that make a single-minded determined effort to survive. Your draw your own conclusions to that.
Apr 16, 2014 7:18 PM CDT
Oh, dear. They've lost three-fifths of them. It reminds me of how they told everyone to go back into the second Trade Tower after the first one was hit.