The 6825 ton passenger ship Sewol which sank in 90 meters of water off Jindo Island, South Korea. The vessel sent out a distress call after striking an underwater rock near Gwanmae Island. The vessel remained afloat for 8 hours before it finally rolled over and sank. Initial reports state the vessel took 18 minutes after the initial grounding before it sent out a distress call. The crew during this time urged passengers to stay calm, but not to prepare to evacuate the vessel.
Authorities have revised that over 290 passengers/crew are still missing which 244 were high school students. The students were on a four-day school trip to Jeju Island. Reports state some students sent text messages soon after the accident. Divers are exploring the sunken vessel fearing that many on board were trapped below deck.
- Photos of the ferry disaster off south coast (koreaherald.com)
- With Hundreds Missing, Divers Search Sunken South Korean Ferry (nytimes.com)