SACHEON, South Gyeongsang Province (Yonhap) ― A civilian diver taking part in the search for those missing from a recently sunken ferry was admitted to a hospital Thursday after falling unconscious during a mission, hospital officials said.
The diver, identified as a 40-year-old man surnamed Kim, was brought to Samcheonpo Seoul Hospital in Sacheon, South Gyeongsang Province, round 1 a.m. Thursday, officials said.
According to the hospital, Kim took part in search operations near the ferry Sewol and fell unconscious inside a decompression chamber after emerging from the water.
After receiving treatment at the hospital’s hyperbaric oxygen therapy center, Kim regained his consciousness but complained of a severe headache and pains in his pelvis, typical symptoms of decompression sickness, hospital officials added.
The 6,825-ton passenger ship sank in waters off the southwestern island of Jindo on April 16, leaving 302 passengers dead or missing.
As the search operation continued round-the-clock over the past several days, divers are increasingly suffering exhaustion, with some of them treated for decompression sickness after swimming in cold, dark waters for extended stretches.