Cell phone 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.