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The SEWOL Tragedy
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승인 2014.05.20  18:22:07
페이스북 트위터

[This article is written by a JDC Junior Journalist. The JDC Junior Journalist program is an educational project sponsored by Jeju Free International City Development Center (JDC). JDC Junior Journalist articles are only briefly edited by mentors before publishing.]

On April 16 2014 there was big tragedy in Korea. That was the sinking of the ferry - SEWOL. Because of this, we lost 269 people. Most passengers were in their second year of high school. They had plans to take a school trip to Jeju Island.

Our country’s people are so incredibly angry and sad. They think a situation like this should never happen again.

The captain of SEWOL, Park Han-Gyul, steered the boat too quickly turning. Another problem was the boat had picked up many heavy container boxes- more than boat could safely hold. It was a big mistake. It made the ship list and sink. This started at 9 a.m. Many people were very frightened and ips crew for guidancee shlooked to th. Nevertheless, captain said that everything was okay and told people to stayed in the room. The students wanted to escape, but the captain and many of the crewmen made it out of the ship first.
When the coast guard came to help, they didn’t know situation in the ship. Although they quickly and not the others trapped inside. In the end, moore than 300 people sank with the capsized ship.

Students who knew immediatly that there were problems on the ship, notified to police, but the police acted slow and initially told the public that Everyone is safe. THey added that they sent 121 helicopters, 69 battleships to help, but the truth was that they sent only 2 helicopters and 2 battleships. The coast guard and navy of Korea were just too confused to rescue the passengers in SEWOL. The rescue team spent too much time saving captain and crewmen, instead of helping the passengers including students. Too much time was lost where more people could have been saved.
I saw students’ text message on TV. Thecontents included messages saying 'I love you', 'I want to see you', 'I will go home, don't worry.' and ‘I’m very scared.’ The victims' families, especially the parents of the missing students, said "Save our children" to the government.

I feel like crying whenever I think the people who were scared in the sinking ship. It was really sad and scary that my country didn’t do anything for them. The safety of people is most important than anything. The country should work for the public not the individual. Through this tragedy, Korea will hopefully check, change, and improve our current rescue system.

There are too many missing students. As of now, we have 172 saviors, 269 deaths, and 35 missing people. I hope they come back to their parents as soon as possible. I want to give comfort to families of victims.

ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (
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