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Cell phone video shows students confusion as South Korean ferry sank

Video Shows Students' Confusion As South Korean Ferry Sank

When the South Korean ferry Sewol began sinking April 16, students aboard turned on their phones and hit record.

A new, heartbreaking video from Newstapa shows the confusion among those 325 high school students who were on the ship.

The video comes from Park Su-hyeon, a 17-year-old who died when the ship went down. South Korean coast guard rescuers recovered his body.

CNN reports the boy's father released the full 15-minute video to local media this week, saying South Koreans need to see this to see what went wrong.

When presenting this story on air, the broadcaster said, "This is by far the most heartbreaking scene I have seen in my 27-year broadcasting career." (Via Newstapa)

A writer for Yahoo points out: "A number of the student passengers can be overheard expressing their fears about the ship's fate. But at the same time, other passengers appear unaware of the gravity of the situation."

A juxtaposition captured here as one student compares the ship to "Titanic."

But another cuts in: "Please, if only I could live. Mom, Dad, I love you."

A translation of key parts of the video is up on The New York Times' website. Taking a look at the timeline laid out by the paper, you begin to see why emotions were so confused.

Five times in a 15-minute stretch, the students were told to stay put. The distress signal went out after the second announcement.

Following the third, a student wondered, "What is the captain doing?"

Students were then told to put on life jackets if possible. Twice more, they were asked to stay put.

It took another 20 minutes following this recording for the Coast Guard to arrive. CNN spoke with the captain of the oil tanker that was first on the scene.

He spoke directly to a crew member aboard the Sewol: "'This person was inexperienced,' says Moon. 'In an emergency, it should be the captain on the radio. You need to make decisions fast.'"

Along with 14 other crew members, the captain, seen here rescued by coast guard members, has been arrested and charged with abandoning the passengers.

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teeveequeen May 01 2014 at 4:59 PM

SHAMEFUL reporting ...

this is nothing more than exploiting these poor peoples' DEATHS !!!

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rick1340 May 01 2014 at 11:46 PM

Why would any company have such untrained Captains at the helms of their ships? First the cruise ship off Italy hits rocks and sinks and now this tragedy off South Korea. I don't see any reason to trust any passenger ships Captains and crews anywhere. There is just too many mishaps worldwide with ships carrying passengers for me to ever considering taking a cruise or ferry, I pray the for families of the victims of this tragedy.

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belldn3 May 01 2014 at 8:39 PM

Truly, truly, sad.

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Ann Marie Hughes May 01 2014 at 8:16 PM

Hello the captain is always the last one of his ship its his duty to man his ship.
the captain was sleeping in his quarters . never tried to get more people off
the boat. . he was worried about himself and the few staff people that broke windows to let people out died trying to help people to safety . this captain has to live with himself every day maybe he could have done more but he did not .

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1 reply
fUK U Ann Marie Hughes May 01 2014 at 8:39 PM

that is a W.A.S.P. thing unknown to these people. Sorry !

Flag Reply 0 rate up
SumBreezeHuh May 02 2014 at 12:10 AM

I didn't watch the 17-minute video. It's not something I think I'd ever want to watch. I can't imagine the heartbreak of the dad who viewed it on his son's phone. That took unimaginable strength.

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sylvabugg2 May 01 2014 at 8:48 PM

I just don't understand how the captain, knowing the ship was sinking, could have not given the order to abandon ship.Why on earth would he tell those poor kids to stay in their rooms, worst thing he could have done. They didn't have a chance. He should be hung from the highest yardarm and left to die and his corpse left to rot for the birds to pick at.

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olvden May 02 2014 at 1:28 AM

This incident brings to mind those faulty instructions given to those in the WTC. After the airplane hit the first building, those in the second building were instructed to "remain at their places". They were told that they would be ok and to just stay in the building. Some that had been through the previous bombing immediately left anyway. Those who stayed, perished when the second plane struck. The same went for these passengers. They weren't told what to do, and to "remain calm" and all the rest of the b.s. People have to go with their instincts. If any structure or vessel is damaged, start making evacuation actions. GET OUT immediately no matter what some bureaucrat is telling you.

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Sandy May 01 2014 at 6:28 PM

Why play that video? Why?

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1 reply
Fred Sandy May 01 2014 at 8:42 PM

It selladvertising.

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1 reply
PEANUT Fred May 01 2014 at 9:38 PM


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catrn7 May 01 2014 at 6:20 PM

Okay what ??????could they have been instructed to do that might have saved them?
I am issuing an international announcement. I want June 15th to be Ferry international ferry inspection day. Ferry that can't pass are taken out until they do. Enough ferry sinking. The ferry system needs to change now, The End. I don't think the videos are helpful. Too sad.

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Hectito May 02 2014 at 4:41 AM

It is very sand what happen there. But the Captain and crew need to either be killed, or sentence to live in prison.

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