One more body retrieved from sunken ferry

By 정주원
  • Published : Jun 24, 2014 - 17:20
  • Updated : Jun 24, 2014 - 17:20

One more body was recovered Tuesday from the sunken passenger ferry Sewol, after no progress was made over the past two weeks, officials said.

The body, presumed to be a female high school student surnamed Yoon, was found on the fourth deck of the submerged ship, according to officials from the government's disaster response team.

The finding raised the death toll to 293 and lowered the number of those missing to 11, the officials said.

Yoon was one of 326 students from Danwon High School who were on a school trip to the southern resort island of Jeju when the 6,825-ton Sewol sank off the country's southwest coast on April 16.

The officials said 127 divers will continue searching the lobby on the third deck, the center of the fourth deck, as well as the front of the fifth deck, where the missing are presumed to be.

Meanwhile, a civilian diver participating in the search operation was transported to a nearby hospital after complaining of decompression sickness, officials said.

The 43-year-old diver, surnamed Kim, is expected to be transferred to a general hospital to receive treatment at a hyperbaric oxygen therapy center, they said.

Decompression sickness is a painful and potentially dangerous condition that strikes deep-sea divers who surface too quickly or stay in cold waters for a long time, causing paralysis, vomiting and aching pains in joints, the ears and other parts of the body.

Six civilian divers have been sent to a hospital for treatment since the search operation started as they faced growing health risks from swimming in cold, murky waters for extended stretches.

Divers have increasingly suffered exhaustion, with some of them reportedly taking zolpidem, a prescription medication used for the treatment of insomnia. (Yonhap)