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2nd diver dies in search of South Korean ferry

May. 30, 2014 5:26 AM EDT

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - A civilian diver died Friday during the search for people still believed trapped inside a sunken South Korean ferry, the second diver's death in the six-week operation.

Government and civilian divers were mobilized after the ferry sank on April 16, leaving more than 300 people dead or missing.

A boom and a moan were heard via communication devices then fellow divers pulled the man to the surface as he fell unconscious, government task force spokesman Ko Myung-seok told a televised briefing.

The diver was bleeding on his face, received CPR and was taken to a hospital on a helicopter but was declared dead there, Ko said. The man whose surname was Lee was 46. His exact cause of his death wasn't known.

Ko said Lee was cutting open parts of the ship exterior to make searches easier. No bodies have been retrieved since May 21 as heavy objects like desks and cabinets have made it difficult for divers to navigate through unsearched parts of the ship, according to task force officials.

Since the sinking, 288 bodies have been recovered but 16 people are still missing. Only 172 people survived.

A 53-year-old civilian diver died earlier this month after becoming unconscious during a search attempt. He was pulled to the surface after losing communication five minutes into the search.

Officials have said they won't lift up the ship until family members of the missing people approves amid worries that works to hoist the ship may lead to damaging the bodies of those people.

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bluejay0911 May 30 2014 at 7:15 AM

How many more people are going to die looking for people that are already dead? It's time to raise the ship and not risk the lives of others that have families too.

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9 replies
bryn45 May 30 2014 at 8:41 AM

If I was a family member, at this point, with TWO divers dead, I would say, its time. Actually I would've said it's time like 5 weeks ago...but I wouldn't want anyone else to pass away looking for people where there is no hope of a live rescue. I would hope they tell the government to go ahead and stop the search for safety reasons.

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1 reply
wlh1923 bryn45 May 30 2014 at 10:44 PM

Hey, who knows... perhaps somebody has been holding their breath for 5 weeks.

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1 reply
Happypoolprune wlh1923 May 30 2014 at 11:19 PM

They don't expect them to be alive - but want the bodies to be intact - maybe its' part of their culture or beliefs - but at this point - why risk anyone else losing their life?

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hammatimejs May 30 2014 at 8:13 AM

Aren't the remaining bodies damaged enough already? Having been under the salt water for so long can't be to conducive for the preservation of human remains. Raise the ship. Enough pain and suffering has taken place already. At least these family members know the fate of their loved ones and know where their loved ones remains are. Others have lost family members and still don't know for sure if they are dead or alive (Flight 370). Raise the ship and then send all those workers to help look for that missing plane. Just a thought.

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2 replies
Doug hammatimejs May 30 2014 at 9:21 AM

Amen! Seems they always do the first thing last....now raise the ship. Should have been done before it sunk. Same goes for FL370..all those manhours spent searching underwater with technology and ingnoring land search. According to statements..the Indian Ocean is turbulent, rough to land as we did on the Hudson couple years ago. So, with that in mind, the plane had to break up, and again, pieces of plane and content had to be floating somewhere noticeable. I don't think it sank calmly to the bottom of ocean in one piece!

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2 replies
mykecusa@netscap Doug May 30 2014 at 10:03 AM

Why has so much time and money been spent looking ? I think some governments really want to find some debris. If no debris, the plane can make a very serious threat to some terrorist action ... it becomes a flying bomb ... even more serious if a nuclear device is loaded aboard.

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Hello Raymond Doug May 30 2014 at 12:12 PM

Anyone can buy (or lease) an airliner. There is no reason to steal one.

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Hello Raymond hammatimejs May 30 2014 at 12:11 PM

And a stupid thought at that. All the plane passengers are dead, and no resources should be wasted looking for them. Let the Chinese bemoan their losses and let the rest of us alone!

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Jerry May 30 2014 at 9:43 AM

Why doesn't AOL have a different forum where opinions can be expressed without having to connect with huffington poss where you have liberal pundits like magnolia's mom who insults people for disagreeing with her and then flaging them to the point where they are no longer able to comment. People like these are nothing but bullies in the sense that they have the "power" to censor those that take her and people like her to task. It's PC as huff sees it.

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5 replies
hatpillbill May 30 2014 at 12:22 PM

I am 81 years old and have been diving for about 40 years. To go into a sunken ship these divers show unheard of courage. There are so many dangers in a ship.
Ships that have been cleared for diving have all their doors removed and any other objestc that may poise a danger.This ferry was a living death trap for divers as well as the passengers

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1 reply
wlh1923 hatpillbill May 30 2014 at 10:45 PM

Cap'n Obvious checks in

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1 reply
Happypoolprune wlh1923 May 30 2014 at 11:22 PM

Respect your elders - and stop being so rude.

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MICHAEL May 30 2014 at 10:49 AM

if they do raise this ship, i dont think it would be a good idea to show the bodies to the parents. i know i wouldnt want to see...

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1 reply
vroom123 MICHAEL May 30 2014 at 3:23 PM

Yes most people have never seen what becomes of the body after such a long time after their passing. It is not a pretty sight. In this case the flesh has become water logged. The poor things are unrecognizable now. It is a sad thing that could have been prevented. I their culture they follow rediculous orders, which cause the exteme amount of casuaties seen here.

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MICHAEL May 30 2014 at 10:45 AM

raise the ship. the dead are dead, i dont see that they could do any more damage to them than has already been done by marine organisms. soon there will be nothing left but bones.

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Jennifer May 30 2014 at 11:39 AM

They need to call it quits regarding retrieving the dead. Only more people are dying.

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blueeyessing May 30 2014 at 11:41 AM

This all reminds me of the 911 families wanting "the remains" identified and buried in this or that special spot. They are dead, gone, and probably unrecognizable....move on.

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1 reply
no1chef99david blueeyessing May 30 2014 at 4:43 PM

as a former fireman on the north coast of California I can guarentee that there is nothing left of these bodies - often called floaters in the business - they by this time have bloated, exploded been eaten on by fish and scavenegers. My question is has anyone told these family members what to expect? They will not look like the children they kissed and said good by to that ill fated morning

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Quaranta Michele May 30 2014 at 10:56 AM

Raise the ferry with the bodys inside, their spirit is gone is only a shell left, 2 people died already for it, is not worthed loosing more lifes over.

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1 reply
gramargo Quaranta Michele May 30 2014 at 10:38 PM

One problem with trying to raise the ship. That will require more divers to go down to fix the various lines that will be needed, and no doubt more divers will die. A terrible quandary for all involved!

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