On April 17, 2014 a South Korean ferry sunk carrying 476 passengers, 325 of these were high-school students who were heading on their way to a four-day field trip. There have been 174 survivors who have been rescued, all within the first few hours of the sinking. Most of the relatives of those involved in the disaster who have still not been rescued have lost all hope of their families’ safe return. These people are simply hoping to retrieve the bodies of their loved ones to avoid further water damage. One of these insistent parents is Yoo Keong-geun, father of an 11th-grader who was aboard the ferry. He has been quoted saying “Until yesterday, nobody could even talk about dragging the ship out of the water” –as this could put any survivors at risk- “but now a lot of people say it. It’s just so we can see our kids’ faces one last time before their bodies become more damaged underwater.”
The frightening part about this whole scenario is that several survivors have been quoted stating that no evacuation plan was ever placed in order. They believe that those who heeded these orders to remain in one place were likely trapped on board. One of the crew members stated that “The ship is tipped over too much. It’s impossible to evacuate.” Had the ship not been so tipped over many lives could have potentially been saved. As a result, many of the families of those affected by the incident are staying in a gymnasium about 30 minutes away, but most are camped out by the port. The whole community has come together and provided these people with free food and cots. The tents span about a quarter mile with the Red Cross and food trucks scattered around the area. There is a list of names that is constantly updating with the names of the victims. Yoo and the other parents are discussing ways to speed up the search for their loved ones in hopes of being able to see them one last time.