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
Text From Passenger on Ferry: 'Dad, Don't Worry'
South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong-won is shielded by his bodyguards from angry relatives of passengers.   (AP Photo/Yonhap)

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. (More South Korea stories.)

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