Mokpo 19th April 2014: The captain and two crew members of a ferry that sank off South Korea, leaving more than 270 people missing or dead, was arrested yesterday on negligence of duty and violation of maritime law.
The captain Lee Joon-seok has been criticised for not giving orders to evacuate soon enough.
“I am sorry to the people of South Korea for causing a disturbance and I bow my head in apology to the families of the victims,” he said.
“I gave instructions regarding the route, then I briefly went to the bedroom and then [the sinking] happened” said Lee.
“The current was very strong, the temperature of the ocean water was cold, and I thought that if people left the ferry without proper judgement, if they were not wearing a life jacket, and even if they were, they would drift away and face many other difficulties.” he added.
The ferry Sewol carrying 459 people was sailing from Incheon, in the north-west, to the southern resort island of Jeju and sank off South Korea on Wednesday.
Some 350 of those on board were students from Danwon High School in Ansan, about 20 miles south of Seoul. So far 29 dead bodies have been recovered and 174 passengers were rescued. The number of missing stands at 273.