Author Topic: Broken Fingers Reveal South Korea Ferry Victims' Escape Bids  (Read 278 times)

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Offline mystery-ak

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Broken Fingers Reveal South Korea Ferry Victims' Escape Bids
« on: April 23, 2014, 09:53:19 AM »
http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/south-korea-ferry-disaster/broken-fingers-reveal-south-korea-ferry-victims-escape-bids-n87416

Broken Fingers Reveal South Korea Ferry Victims' Escape Bids

Many of the children's bodies recovered from the sunken South Korea ferry in the past two days had broken fingers, local media reported - suggesting the victims had frantically tried to climb walls or floors to escape in their final moments.

Divers continued to swim though dark, cold waters into the submerged Sewol Wednesday, feeling for bodies with their hands in a maze of cabins, corridors and upturned decks.

"We have to touch everything with our hands,” said diver Hwang Dae-sik, whose team had retrieved 14 bodies so far.

“This is the most grueling and heartbreaking job of my career," he said.

Of the 476 passengers and crew on board, 339 were children and teachers on a high school outing. Only 174 people have been rescued.

The death toll reached 150 on Wednesday, leaving 152 others people still missing after more than a week.

With oxygen and communications lines trailing, divers can only see a few inches in front of them in the wreckage of the ship, and are limited to working an hour at a time.

- Reuters

First published April 23rd 2014, 7:17 am

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Offline mountaineer

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Re: Broken Fingers Reveal South Korea Ferry Victims' Escape Bids
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2014, 09:17:10 AM »
Ferry victims’ bodies found in ‘freeze-frame of panic’
By Associated Press
April 25, 2014 | 12:19pm



JINDO, South Korea — Divers grope their way slowly through the dark corridors and cabins of the sunken Sewol ferry. Bodies appear suddenly, floating by in the murky water, buoyed by life-jackets or the bloat of decomposition, their faces etched with fear or shock.

Some are still locked together in embraces, a freeze-frame of panic as the water rushed in and the ship sank. The hair of female corpses ripples in the current, framing pale faces.

At times, heavy sediment in the water can make flashlights useless, and it is almost total darkness inside the South Korean ferry, which has flipped upside down on the sea floor. Divers must stretch their hands into the void to search for bodies. There’s constant worry that their lifeline to the surface, a 100-meter oxygen hose, will get snagged or cut as they swim deeper through the wreck’s maze-like hallways.

For nearly a week now, dozens of divers have battled fast currents and cold waters — as well as exhaustion and fear — to pull out a steady stream of corpses. As they go deeper into what’s become a huge underwater tomb, they’re getting a glimpse of the ship’s final moments April 16 before it capsized. More than 300 people — most of them high school students — are feared dead.

“They can see the people’s expressions at the instant” the ship sank, Hwang Dae-sik said of the team of 30 divers he supervises for the Marine Rescue and Salvage Association, a private group of professional divers who’ve joined Korean navy and coast guard divers in the search and rescue effort. “From the bodies’ expressions, you can see they were facing danger and death.”

Divers descend about 100 feet (30 meters) and enter the ship through windows they’ve broken with hammers.

Han Yong Duk, a 33-year-old diver, said visibility was often so poor that divers had to feel their way along the outside of the ship to find windows they could smash. One diver tried to hit the ferry with a hammer but only connected with steel, not glass.

Another civilian diver said that sometimes it was pitch black; other times, there was less than 1 foot (20 centimeters) of visibility.

“I got around by fumbling in the darkness to try to find things with my hands,” said Cha Soon-cheol, who spent five days helping with searches. Swimming against the strong currents exhausted him.

Once inside the ship, divers have to dodge floating debris — passengers’ belongings, cargo, ropes, chairs — but also bodies. ...

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Offline flowers

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Re: Broken Fingers Reveal South Korea Ferry Victims' Escape Bids
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2014, 10:28:29 AM »
Horrible just horrible.


Offline 240B

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Re: Broken Fingers Reveal South Korea Ferry Victims' Escape Bids
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2014, 12:00:12 PM »
Many of the victims were found wearing lifejackets. I have seen this in real life. We were taking heavy rolls, up to and a little over 50 degrees. The bow would submerge and then explode to the surface with each swell. We would climb up the side of a wave, and then roller coaster ride, and go under water on the other side.
 
But, back to the story, a percentage of the crew were Filipinos. We lost contol of the helm, hydraulics went out, which means we are going go sideways to the swells, flip over, water goes up the stacks, the boilers explode, and then we die. I was on my way to after-steering(manual)  to keep that from happening. As I was passing through the mess decks, I saw all the Filipinos with cans of survival crackers out stuffing as many as they could, all wearing kapoks. They were getting ready to go overboard. We all knew we would not make it. Many of the sailors went to their bunks, pulled the cover over, curled up, and were just waiting.
 
I had an emergency life preserver which was nothing more than a belt around my waist. It had a rip cord which would release compressed air and inflate it. That is the important part. All those guys wearing kapoks were going to be stuck to the floor if we roll. Mine was made to let you get clear first, then you pop it, to go to the surface. They can eat all the crackers they want. They can wear two life preservers if they want. They will never make it out of boat if you put it on inside. You have to be able to move and swim to get out of a sinking ship. You cannot do either of these wearing a life jacket inside the ship. You will be stuck, struggling to get the damn thing off, if you can, in time to still get out.
 
I can relate to the victims. I have seen the chaos and sheer panic. It is like nothing you can imagine, and your best friend becomes just another guy who would kill you if he had to, to get through the hatch first. It is a true free-for-all.
 
Very sad for everyone. Including the ones who survive.
 
You cannot "COEXIST" with people who want to kill you.

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Re: Broken Fingers Reveal South Korea Ferry Victims' Escape Bids
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2014, 12:21:21 PM »
Congrats for making me seasick - on dry land!  :laugh:

I always wondered why ships don't tend to use the same life jackets as aircraft. All flights are very clear about that - you get out first, THEN pull the cord. It's not only because passengers and crew in inflated lifejackets have a harder time moving out, but also for the exact reason you described.
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Offline 240B

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Re: Broken Fingers Reveal South Korea Ferry Victims' Escape Bids
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2014, 01:55:53 PM »
Even if you clear the ship, it is pitch black. There is no light at all. And with the chaos and turmoil and currents, it is impossible to tell which way up. You just do not know which direction to swim. It sounds crazy, but in surging water you cannot know where you are or what is going on. You're just in a sightless, silent, limbo, being tossed about by currents and turbulence.
 
In that respect the fly-boys have us beat. Fly-boys never have to worry about which way is down.
 
That is when you pull the rip cord. The air will point you in the right direction and take you up. And it could take you in the opposite direction you thought you would go. Without it, you would just have to guess what to do next.
 
The kapoks are meant to be put on outside the ship during an orderly sinking. In a roll, they will get you killed.
You cannot "COEXIST" with people who want to kill you.

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Re: Broken Fingers Reveal South Korea Ferry Victims' Escape Bids
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2014, 02:14:41 PM »
Well - we do have two directions - both up, slowly, and down, rapidly!  :tongue2:

Had to ditch once - some unfriendly person took out two of the 5 blades - and it scared the ever loving crap out of me because I simply can't swim. Thank god for my mates. They jumped out - somehow managed to hold her at about 10 feet, then they pulled me out when we actually hit water. Choppers don't float at all.

Honestly - don't remember much about it, I've blanked it out completely. I remember heading in and tipping her on her side to keep the blades away from my team. Next thing I remember I'm floating in an inflated life jacket and in the middle of a full on panic attack. Someone had grabbed me and put a jacket on me. No idea who - so absolutely none of them buys the beer when we get together!
Anyone who tells you you can't buy happiness has never been in a book store or an animal shelter.

You are the result of 3 billion years of evolutionary success. Act like it.

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