South Korean President vows to raise sunken ferry

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Arirang News cameras showed Park Geun-hye promising to raise sunken ferry

APRIL 16, 2015 — One year after the sinking of the ferry Sewol with the loss of 304 people, many of them children, South Korean President Park Geun-hye has promised to raise the vessel.

Paengmokhang harbor, the nearest point of dry land to the sunken ferry, has become a place of continuing morning for victims’ ferries. Speaking at a ceremony there to mark the one year anniversary of the tragedy, President Park said, “It hasn’t been long since the announcement that it’s feasible to salvage the Sewol ferry. I believe that now it’s time to seriously prepare for the recovery of the ship.”

According to Arirang News, she vowed to raise the ferry in the near future and do everything possible to recover the remains of nine still-missing passengers.

Her pledge came after experts concluded that while the ferry can be raised from the sea floor, attempts will have to wait until September.

According to newspaper Chosun Ilbo, last week a task force of government and civilian experts that reviewed the recovery told reporters that, while the salvage is technically feasible, there are risks because of notoriously rapid undercurrents at the scene and the unfamiliar methods that would have to be employed.

Once underway the task would likely take between a year and 18 months .Efforts would not start until September since selecting bidders for the job would take two months and selection and preparations another two or three months.

“The favored method now is to drill 93 holes into the right side of vessel, which lies 44 m underwater, and to hoist up the ship with chains using a floating dock,” says Chosun Ilbo. “That would obviate the need to set it upright first.”

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