Korean Coast Guard erases parts of ferry disaster tapes

Arirang News reports Coast Guard that Coast Guard erased parts of Sewol footage "because of memory overload" Arirang News reports Coast Guard that Coast Guard erased parts of Sewol footage "because of memory overload"

JUNE 24, 2014 — Relatives of victims in South Korea's Sewol ferry disaster are outraged by news that the Korean Coast Guard has erased parts of the original video footage that captured the ferry's final moments.

Arirang News reports that the Incheon District Court, which is handling the case, says it received 85 minutes of video footage shot from Coast Guard helicopters and a patrol boat, but segments are missing.

The Coast Guard, which has been much criticized for its handling of the disaster, says certain parts "were erased due to memory overload."

In May, President Park Geun-hye said that the Coast Guard had "failed in its duty to carry out the rescue operation" and that, after serious consideration, she had "decided to dismantle" the agency.

"The investigation and information roles will be transferred to the police while the rescue and salvage operation and ocean security roles will be transferred to the department for national safety which will be newly established," she said.

Meantime, the trial of members of the ferry's crew continues — and the hunt for its fugitive de facto owner, Yoo Byung-eun, goes on. His wife and two brothers have been arrested on various charges and his daughter, Yoo Som-na, is being held in France on suspicion of fraud and embezzlement.