Let’s try getting a better sense of what’s to come in terms of search, rescue, and salvage operations down off Korea’s southwestern coast.
For that, Captain Nicholas Sloane joins us live on the line from Italy.
Nicholas Sloane is a marine master with over 30 years of experience and was in charge of salvage operations of the wrecked Costa Concordia cruise ship off Italy.
Captain Sloane, thank you so much for joining us.
Let’s start with the search and rescue operations here in Korea, now in their tenth day.
Based on your expertise and experience in the field, which stage is the Korean rescue team at?
How does this case compare with the Costa Concordia case?
Expert view on prospects for salvage operations on Korean Ferry arirang
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If there is something oddly familiar about the news that the erstwhile captain of the ill-fated South Korean ferry—which capsized and sank just a few hundred meters from dry land—botched the evacuation order and jumped ship before his passengers were safe, it’s because we’ve heard about this sort of maritime cowardice before. It happened in 2012, when Italian captain Francesco Schettino rammed his Costa Concordia luxury cruiseliner into the rocks off Giglio island. He, too, was among the first off the ship well in advance of the bulk of the passengers.
The two accidents are, of course, as different as night and day. The South Korean ferry captain, Lee Joon-Seok, was not on the bridge when his ferry took a tight turn, possibly capsizing because it had been loaded over capacity with heavy cargo.
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The causes may be very different and the toll far heavier but Italian media have pointed to similarities between the ferry disaster of the Sewol in South Korea and the Costa Concordia cruise ship crash in 2012.
“A case of Schettino in Korea” has been the recurring headline in Italian newspapers in the past few days — a reference to the Italian liner’s captain now on trial for an accident in which 32 people lost their lives.
With South Korean rescuers reporting 270 people missing and 32 confirmed dead, Italian media have focussed on the role played by the ferry’s captain Lee Joon-Seok, who was arrested on Saturday along with two of his crew.Tragedies at sea: The Sewol and the Costa Concordia Publication
“A case of Schettino in Korea” has been the recurring headline in Italian newspapers in the past few days – a reference to the Italian liner’s captain now on trial for an accident in which 32 people lost their lives.
The same number of people are now confirmed dead in the Sewol tragedy, while 270 people are still missing.
As frustration and despair run high in the South Korean republic, everyone’s attention has focused on the 69 year old captain Lee Joon-Seok, who, witnesses say, chose to flee the tilted ship without a minute-long hesitation. Earlier on Friday he was arrested along with two of his crew members. Here are five similarities between the disasters
Captain in charge
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Ferry Disaster Compared to Costa Concordia Maritime Executive
Captains Uncourageous: Abandoning Ship Long Seen As A Crime NPR
The captain of the South Korean ferry that sank with hundreds of high school students aboard is under criminal investigation for his actions, but it’s not clear whether he broke any laws by being one of the first people off the crippled boat.
While the “captain goes down with his ship” is considered a law of the sea, it’s really more just a guideline, experts say.
Lee Joon-seok, 69, climbed onto one of the first lifeboats to launch from the ship just a half an hour after reporting an accident.
Are Captains who abandon ship breaking the law? ABC News