Search of sunken ferry suspended amid bad weather

By 옥현주
  • Published : Jul 6, 2014 - 14:58
  • Updated : Jul 6, 2014 - 15:49

The search for people missing in April's ferry disaster came to a halt Sunday amid strong winds and rain caused by an approaching typhoon.

Eleven people remain missing in the April 16 sinking of the ferry Sewol, with 293 others confirmed dead. The latest recovery of a body was on June 24.

With the approach of typhoon Neoguri, barges and other vessels engaged in search operations had to be moved to the inner harbors of Mokpo, 410 kilometers south of Seoul, on Saturday night, according to officials on the government's disaster response team.

Search operations will resume once the typhoon passes but that could take at least five days, the officials said.

Five large vessels of at least 1,000 tons will remain at the site to carry out search operations at sea while aerial searches will also be expanded.

Officials said they are considering employing new equipment that would recycle the air breathed out by divers, allowing them to work underwater for up to six hours. With the current equipment, divers are only able to work for up to 15 minutes at a time.

The 6,825-ton Sewol sank off the southwestern island of Jindo, carrying a total of 476 people, mostly high school students on a field trip to the southern resort island of Jeju. (Yonhap)