No progress was made in an underwater search for 16 people still missing from last month's deadly ferry sinking in the early hours of Tuesday, leaving the death toll unchanged at 288 for the sixth straight day, officials said.
A team of divers took shifts to search the submerged hull during two periods of slow currents that began at 12:53 a.m. and 7:06 a.m. at the scene of the sunken ferry Sewol but ceased the operation without any result, according to officials of a government crisis center. Two more such periods are expected to occur at 12:58 p.m. and 6:47 p.m.
The latest recovery of a body was on Wednesday.
The area off South Korea's southwest coast is known for strong currents. Weather and the speed of currents have been the most important factors affecting search operations since the April 16 disaster that left more than 300 people, mostly high school students, dead or missing.
The joint search team of civilian, Coast Guard and military divers is expected to focus on compartments at the front of the fourth and fifth decks, the officials said.
Weather in the area was forecast to not be favorable, with waves reaching between 0.5 and 1.5 meters and wind blowing at a speed of from 7 to 10 meters per second, according to meteorological authorities. (Yonhap)