Questions mount in South Korean ferry disaster; hundreds still missing

Jindo, South Korea (CNN) — Anguished relatives of missing South Korean ferry passengers waited somberly for answers Thursday as rescuers fought bad weather, murky water, darkness and time to find a way deep into the capsized ship.

Authorities believe 276 people — many of them high school students on a field trip — may remain trapped inside the five-story ship. At least some, authorities say, could still be alive more than a day after the ship rolled over.

Meanwhile, the ferry’s captain is facing mounting questions about the incident.

Among other things, authorities are investigating the possibility the ship was off course when it ran into trouble, as well as reports that few of its lifeboats made it into the water, according to Kim Soo Hyeon, the chief of South Korea’s Yellow Sea Maritime Police Agency.

Ferry captain Lee Joon Suk, his head and face covered, broke down in tears when reporters asked if he had anything to say.

“I am sorry, I am at a loss for words,” Lee said at a South Korean Coast Guard office.

At least 20 people are known dead, according to the South Korean Ministry of Security and Public Administration. As of Thursday night, at least 179 had been rescued.

Weather hinders rescue

More than 170 ships and 512 divers have swarmed the ferry about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the Jindo, South Korea, harbor where relatives have gathered.

But poor conditions have kept rescuers from reaching parts of the ship where air pockets could be sustaining survivors, authorities said.

Can they survive in air pockets?

Relentless rain, whipping winds and thick fog stymied rescue efforts Thursday. Three of the 22 volunteer divers who joined the search went missing in high tide but were later found, YTN said.

Efforts to pump air into the ship also failed because of the bad weather.

Despite government assurances that rescuers would work around the clock to save lives, some relatives were angry about the pace of the rescue operation.

“If the government cares for the people, our family, our children, please rescue our families and our children,” said Chang Min, whose second-grade son is among the missing.

‘Don’t move’

The ferry, which is designed to carry cargo and vehicles as well as passengers, was on a routine passage between Incheon and the resort island of Jeju when something went awry shortly before 9 a.m. Wednesday.
On board were more than 300 Seoul high school students and teachers on a four-day trip to the island.

Questions mount in South Korean ferry disaster; hundreds still missing CNN
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Eight missing as cargo ships collide outside of Tokyo Bay

Two cargo ships collided just outside Tokyo Bay, according to the Japanese Coast Guard.
The Panamanian-flagged Beagle III crashed into another vessel, the South Korean-registered Pegasus Prime, causing it to sink. The incident occurred southeast of the Miura Peninsula in Kanagawa Prefecture.

Of the 20 crew members — all of whom are Chinese nationals — aboard Beagle III, 12 have been found and eight are still missing.

Of the rescued crew members, six have slight injuries. The Chief Engineer of he ship was found drifting and seriously injured on Tuesday, He was taken to the nearby Miura City Hospital in a “state of cardiopulmonary arrest,” but was confirmed dead Tuesday, the Japan Coast Guard confirmed.

Eight missing as cargo ships collide outside of Tokyo Bay CNN

How Concordia Will be Raised

It’s been 19 months since the Costa Concordia, one of the largest cruise liners ever built, ran aground off the west coast of Italy, killing 32 passengers and capsizing after granite rock tore a 50-meter hole in the ship’s hull. But in September the rotting 952-foot wreck is set to be raised from its partially-submerged resting place off the Tuscan island of Giglio in what engineers say is a risky and unprecedented operation. The plan is to use cables attached to hydraulic pumps to rotate the ship upright — a process known as “parbuckling” — from the seabed onto a platform, which consists of a series of cement bags and huge under-water steel structure…

Costa Concordia: How ill-fated cruise liner will be raised from Italian seabed CNN

Costa Concordia: How ill-fated cruise liner will be raised

It’s been 19 months since the Costa Concordia, one of the largest cruise liners ever built, ran aground off the west coast of Italy, killing 32 passengers and capsizing after granite rock tore a 50-meter hole in the ship’s hull.
But in September the rotting 952-foot wreck is set to be raised from its partially-submerged resting place off the Tuscan island of Giglio in what engineers say is a risky and unprecedented operation.
The plan is to use cables attached to hydraulic pumps to rotate the ship upright — a process known as “parbuckling” — from the seabed onto a platform, which consists of a series of cement bags and huge under-water steel structure.
After repairs are made to the previously submerged side of the Concordia, giant steel “caissons,” or boxes, on the sides of the ship will be pumped full of air and the cruise liner will theoretically float to the surface and be towed to a nearby seaport — hopefully all in one piece.

Fire breaks out aboard Royal Caribbean cruise ship


A fire that broke out aboard a Royal Caribbean ship Monday did enough damage that the rest of the cruise was canceled and the company said the more than 2,200 passengers will be flown from the Bahamas back to Baltimore where the trip began.
The fire that began at 2:50 a.m. Monday was extinguished about two hours later with no injuries reported. A cause wasn’t immediately known. The Grandeur of the Seas, which left Baltimore on Friday, never lost power and was able to sail into port in Freeport, Bahamas, Monday afternoon. It had been planned to be a seven-night cruise.

Fire breaks out aboard Royal Caribbean cruise shipyahoo.com

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Second Carnival Cruise Ship Having Trouble at Sea

ABC News ‎-
Another day, another Carnival cruise ship is having issues. The company announced late Thursday night that the Carnival Legend, currently off the coast of Honduras, is unable to sail at its optimal speed because of a technical problem, forcing the ship to cut short passengers’ vacation. The Carnival Legend has canceled its visit to Grand Cayman today so it can immediately return to its homeport in Tampa Bay, Fla., according to a news release. The Legend is on the last leg of a seven-day Caribbean cruise that departed Tampa March 10.

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Another Carnival Cruise ship malfunctions at sea, the second time this week. Passengers on The Carnival Legend won’t be able to stop at the Grand Cayman Islands, due to technical issues with the ship’s thrusters. The beleaguered cruise company’s Carnival Dream was also plagued with troubles earlier this week. NY Daily News
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Costa Concordia reveals its darkest secrets

Giglio, Italy (CNN) — The shock of seeing the forlorn hulk of the Costa Concordia hasn’t been dimmed by time. I’m here once again on the pristine little Italian island of Giglio, made famous not for its beauty, but for the tragedy on its shores.

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Supplies reach befouled cruise ship in Gulf of Mexico

CNN
(CNN) — Much-needed supplies and a third tugboat are heading across the Gulf of Mexico to try to make the end of the miserable voyage of the Carnival Triumph as comfortable as possible for hungry travelers who have waited in lines for hours for food  and other necessities.
Supplies reach befouled cruise ship in Gulf of Mexico CNN

Carnival cruise ship to be towed after fire


CNN
(CNN) — A Carnival cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico with more than 4,200 passengers and crew will be towed to port after a weekend engine fire left it dead in the water, a cruise line official said. The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Vigorous arrived to aid the stranded ship early Monday, the Coast Guard said.

Carnival cruise ship to be towed after fire strands it in Gulf of Mexico CNN Travel
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Costa Concordia victims mark 1-year anniversary

CBS News
GIGLIO, Italy Survivors of the Costa Concordia shipwreck and relatives of the 32 people who died marked the first anniversary of the grounding Sunday with the unveiling of memorials to the victims, a tearful Mass in their honor and a minute of silence to recall the exact moment that the cruise ship rammed into a reef off Tuscany.
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