Maybe the captain didn’t go down with his ship, but he is going down because of what he did on the ship, if prosecutors have their way. South Korea prosecutors have filed for arrest warrants for the captain of the ill-fated ferry that sank 20 miles off shore. The warrants were just issued Friday morning, according to CNN News on April 18.
Along with a warrant for the captain, warrants were also issued for two members of his crew. This ferry tragedy has killed 29 people so far, with 270 more missing. Most of the missing are high school children, according to the New York Times today.
The captain wasn’t even on the bridge when the boat capsized due to a sharp turn. It was an inexperienced third mate who the captain left in charge to pilot the vessel. The mate made a quick turn, tumbling the cargo to one side of the ship, causing the ship to list and start to take on water. The ferry had some fairly heavy items aboard, like 150 cars and vehicles.
According to ABC News today the third mate had not much more than a year’s experience under his belt
The captain left the ship just a little over 30 minutes after the ship listed to one side and started sinking. He was in one of the only few lifeboats that were deployed out of the 46 on board.
The passengers were told to “stay put” and the ones that heeded that order were trapped inside the ship. Others made their way to the deck and they eventually jumped off the ship. They were picked up by fishing boats in the area before the rescue boats arrived.
The tragedy of this ship continued today when a vice principal who was rescued from the ferry was found hanging from a tree. Kang Min-gyu, 52, was found dead hanging from a tree on a hill near the gymnasium where the missing student’s families have been staying. Police believe the vice principal committed suicide.
He was among the chaperones with the children on a field trip. He, like the captain, were one of the first people off this ship. He was brought to the island that is housing the survivors and the families of the missing students waiting for any word. The anguish and despair coming from the parents might have gotten the best of the man. It is reported he hung himself using his belt on a tree near where they were all staying.
When a spokesperson from the Gyeonggi Provincial Office of Education, Lim Jong-ho, was asked if he had any idea why this vice principal would hang himself. He whispered, “Probably a sense of guilt.” This is the educational office that oversees the Danwon High School where Kang was vice principal and where the kids went to school who were on this sinking ferry.