Six surviving students of the Sewol-ho ferry
disaster were in court Monday, giving testimony in a trial against the ferry’s crew members.
The students said many more would have survived,… IF the crew and the Coast Guard had taken
proper measures. Yoo Li-an reports.
A ferry with about 300 passengers,… most of them students, is sinking fast.
But instead of staging full-out rescue efforts,… the crew members are nowhere to be seen, and
the coast guard is watching from afar. This… was the testimony given by six survivors
of April’s Sewol-ho ferry disaster… who are students of Danwon High School.
Speaking in a court hearing Monday afternoon,… the six gave a chronological account of the
events from the time of the accident. One said that about “30 students were lined
up for the emergency exit. But when the rescue team didn’t arrive,… each student began
jumping into the water.” As soon as she did,… the student says in
a shaky voice that the waves suddenly crashed up against the emergency exit,… where 10
of her friends had been waiting. They were unable to escape. Another surviving student… also said that
the Sewol-ho crew were nowhere to be seen for the entirety of her escape.
She testified that the coast guard was within an arm’s reach of the emergency exit,.. but
only lifted out the people who fell into the water.
She said she told them a lot more of her friends were just inside the emergency exit,… but
the coast guard only watched as the ship continued to list.
Most students told judges that there were repeated announcements instructing passengers
to stay where they were. If they had received instructions to escape,
the six students said many more could have survived.
The students ended their testimonies by asking the panel of judges to punish the crewmen
to the strictest letter of the law. Sewol-ho ferry captain Lee Joon-seok and three
of his fellow crew are currently on trial for charges of homicide by willful negligence.
None were present at Monday’s court hearing. Yoo Li-an, Arirang News.