Casualty count on the rise in ferry sinking

Written by: 
Reid Crickmore ~ Multimedia Journalist

A South Korean ferry carrying more than 300 high school students sunk while traveling to Jeju island, a popular tourist destination in Korea. Although it is still unclear why, it has been reported the ship made a sudden turn before listing and sinking, according to the associated press.

The confusion on how the boat sunk resonates with officials and students. Kevin Brady, a sophomore in computer science from Oregon, said, “I think it is extremely weird that the ferry suddenly sunk. Who knows what was going on with the boat. There must be more to the story.”

CNN reports the official death toll as 181 with 121 people still missing. Ace Vuikadavu, a senior in hospitality and tourism management from Fiji, said, “This is such a sad situation. My heart goes out to the people and families affected by this tragedy.”

At the time of the sinking, the third mate was steering the ferry for the first time in unknown waters. By the time an evacuation alert was sent to passengers, the ship had already capsized leaving some to believe most passengers were already trapped inside the ship.

Those affected are devastated, as several families remain unsure of the fate of their children and loved ones. Nami Kim, a junior in TESOL from South Korea, said, “I feel horrible for the families of the dead and missing. I hope that the missionaries will be able to share the plan of salvation with them, and help them learn that they will be with their loved ones again.”

Divers continue to search the sunken vessel for the remaining 121 people missing. However, the divers continue to face murky waters and strong currents making it extremely difficult to find those missing.