Survivors: There Were Heroes Among Ferry Crew

As death toll passes 100

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 22, 2014 7:36 AM CDT | Updated Apr 22, 2014 8:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – Members of the sunken South Korean ferry's crew have been likened to "murderers," and two more were detained today, the BBC reports. But some of them, the AP notes, were actually heroes, survivors say. Four gave up their life jackets for passengers amid a shortage; others broke windows to drag would-be victims out of the ship. One refused to leave until she got students to safety and was later found dead. Says the wife of another, who's still missing: "His last words were, 'I'm on my way to save the kids.'"

Meanwhile, the number of victims continues to rise and now stands at 108, the BBC notes. Families have agreed that after two more days of searching the rescue operation can become a salvage effort; authorities today set up an underwater robot to help haul up the ship. Relatives are acknowledging that it's unlikely any more will be rescued. "It's been too long already. The bodies must be decayed," an uncle of one of the students tells the AP. In other news:

  • One theory as to how the ship sank: It took a turn too sharply. Only two of 46 lifeboats were accessible because the ship tilted so much, the BBC and NBC News report.
  • The ship's initial distress call came from a frightened boy who called the emergency number 119. "Save us! We're on a ship and I think it's sinking," he reportedly said. Afterward, about 20 more children called 119.
  • Many child survivors may need therapy following the disaster. "We're considering sending about 20% of the patients to a psychiatric clinic with consent from themselves and their parents in the judgment that they require constant intervention," says a hospital chief, via Yonhap. Classes at their school are set to resume this week.

Christians pray during a service for the safe return of passengers of the sunken Sewol ferry at a church in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, April 22, 2014.   (AP Photo/Yonhap, Yang Ji-ung)
Relatives of passengers aboard the sunken Sewol ferry look toward the sea as they await news on their missing loved ones at a port in Jindo, South Korea, Tuesday, April 22, 2014.   (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
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