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Ferry ready to be lifted by cranes: Families refuse to let that happen

The relatives of the missing ferry passengers refuse to let the cranes lift the sunken ferry out of the water. The cranes were brought to the site of the ferry disaster with hopes of raising the ferry because the divers cannot get all the way into the vessel.

Missing ferry passengers' families refuse to let them raise the ferry with cranes. They fear the safety of any of the possible survivors trapped inside.
Photo by Shannon Jensen/Getty Images

The 650 divers taking shifts working the search mission can see bodies through the submerged vessels windows. They are unable to break the windows to get in and recovery the bodies, so raising the ship is the alternative, according to NBC News on April 19.

Oxygen is still being pumped into the hull of the ship with the mindset that there may still be some survivors trapped below in air pockets. Relatives of the missing passengers fear that if their loved ones are alive in the ship their safety would be in jeopardy if the ship is lifted out of the water.

With the oxygen being pumped into the ship and nobody willing to say that there is no chance that survivors will be found, families are hanging on to the hopes that there are some still alive. The families are still looking for rescues and not willing to step into the recovery mode as of yet.

A briefing at the gymnasium where the families are staying saw tempers flare with a few dozen family members hurling themselves up unto the stage. They did this in protest of the ship being lifted from the depths of the ocean.

The search and rescue is in its fourth day and families feel that there is a lack of urgency on behalf of the South Korea government to get to any possible survivors. Lee Jong-eui, whose nephew is among the missing passengers, said to the media:

"The government should have hurried up and have done something, but they just wasted four days, which led to this point. I think this is more like a man-made disaster."

The death toll is at 32 today with 270 people still unaccounted for. Most of the missing are young teens who were on a field trip. Their vice-principal, who was along on the trip as a chaperone, was one of the first people off the sinking ship. He was being housed with the missing passenger’s family members at the gymnasium when he was found dead, hanging from a tree yesterday. Police report his death as an apparent suicide.

According to CNN News today, Captain Lee Joon Seok was arrested and charged with abandoning his boat, negligence, causing bodily injury, not seeking rescue from other ships, and violating "seamen's law." The captain, who was also one of the first to leave the sinking ferry in a lifeboat, will have to answer for this horrendous tragedy, in a court of law. As will two of his crew, who were also arrested in this tragedy..

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