The captain of the sunken ferry is receiving harsh criticism for being among the first to evacuate the ship. Captain Lee Joon-seok escaped the ferry on one of the few lifeboats that were deployed in the emergency; there were 46 lifeboats on board the vessel reports CNN.
Ten passengers have been confirmed dead in the tragedy. Around 290 people are still missing, more than half of the 475 passengers on board the ship.
Among the dead are five high school students and two teachers. 24-year-old teacher Choi Hye-jung died in the disaster. Her father said, “She was very active and wanted to be a good teacher.”
Crew member Oh Yong-seok said that the first instructions given by the captain were to put on life jackets and remain in place. About 30 minutes later, the order was given to evacuate.
Captain Lee was questioned by the Mokpo Coast Guard reports ABC News. He said of his actions, “I am really sorry and deeply ashamed.”
It is unknown if Captain Lee will face criminal charges.
Publication date: April 17, 2014