No Running Man because of Sewol Incident
Now lets go back to the Sewol Incident. MV Sewol was a passenger ferry owned by Cheonghaejin Marine Company. On 16th April, the ferry was capsized and sunk along with its passengers. At that time, Sewol were carrying about 476 people, mostly secondary school students from Danwon High School. That is right, by mostly, I meant 325 students with 14 escorting teachers were on board. The students and teachers were on their way for a field-trip in Jeju island.
|Capsized MV Sewol.|
The number of survivors might vary because the rescuers believed that there may be others still in the ship with a trapped air bubble. But, could an air supply from air bubble really last that long? So the situation was getting grimmer and grimmer by the day. The longer that the rescue operation took place, the thinner the chance that anyone left trapped inside that ship could survive.
With the staggering amount of victims involved, it bring us to the question of why weren't there more survivors? There were no storms, it wasn't a dangerous shark-infested water, the water might be cold but then again the ship did managed to send distress calls meaning there was no communication problems and help was on the way. How could the majority of the victims trapped inside the ship? Didn't they know the ship was sinking?
The news reported that apparently the whole thing smelled of gross misconduct and negligence. There were several complaints from the survivors, such as no announcement were made to evacuate the ship, causing only a handful of the victims managed to survive. In fact, it was established that the captain instead asked the passengers to stay in their rooms after making the distress call. One of the crew allegedly claim that the captain made the announcement on the evacuation order only half and hour later after the distress call was made. Further investigations show that one of the passenger, a teenager named Choi Duk-ha, was actually the first person who made the first distress call to the emergency services channel, asking help from the operator. The ship's crew only made the call 3 minutes after the kid. Even sadder? The kid didn't make it.
Currently, 11 of the the 22 crews that survived were detained and now under investigation. including the captain. The company that operate the ferry was also raided by the authorities. It was believed that several maritime laws were broken and possible crimes against humanity itself was committed. Why would I said that? The captain, Lee Joon-seok, was allegedly being the first person that got on the rescue boat. Not to mention he stand by his decision for making the passengers to stay inside of their rooms when the ship was slowly sinking. He reasoned that it was better for the passengers to wait for the rescue boats to come and get them, and also the water was very cold which he stated, could be dangerous to the passengers and might complicate things.
Wait, shouldn't he gathered all of the passengers in one place and prepare for evacuation? In short, he technically condemn all of those passengers to a slow death, where they would be trapped in capsized ship and died either by drowning in the water or carbon monoxide poisoning.
|Three of the ship's crew, the captain was in the middle.|
The captain also claimed that his third mate might have made a sharp turn that caused the ship to shift its balance and starting to listing. He said when he realized what was going on, the ship was already listed too much and he failed to right back the ship. Technically and legally, it wasn't wrong for the captain to appoint his third mate to steer the ship. He probably wanted to let his crew to gain some experience. What is wrong actually, is that the captain and his crews completely abandoned the people, that were supposed to be their responsibility. Failure to issue an evacuation order when you yourself were standing ready to bail is so not captain-ly.
Park Ji-young, a 22-year old female cafeteria worker helped a lot of other survivors to escape from the sinking ship, even when the water was rising above her knees. She helped other passengers to escape. Some of the survivors mentioned where she would help close the doors, so that the passengers could cross the gaps when the ship listed too much and made the floor to be the wall, while the wall became the floor. She was even standing near the exit but she didn't escape herself. Instead, she stayed there, calming the kids and handing the life jackets. According to the news, one of the survivors reported that some of her last words was, "After saving you, I will get out. The crew goes out last.". She even pushed some of the shocked passengers toward the exit even when the water level was risen up to her chest. It was also reported that she could be responsible for rescuing almost a third of the total initial survivors.
But her heroic story didn't end like one of the fairy tales with happy ending. Tragically, she went down along with the ship. Her body was among the first to be recovered from the sea. There were also other crew members that were bravely tried to save the passengers. Kim Ki-woong, 28-years old, and his fiancee, Jeong Hyun-seon, 27-years old, went back to the cabins to save other passengers. But they never came back.
|Prime Minister of South Korea.|
|Thrown water bottles.|
He was booed and someone thrown a water bottle to him while he visited the grieving parents the day after the Sewol incident. The water bottle hits one of his bodyguards, but the message was clear. The public mood were not good, and obviously the people are pointing fingers toward corruption. Corruption is never good, it never ends well. The prime minister was recorded saying, "There are too many irregularities and malpractices in parts of society that have been with us too long and I hope those are corrected so that accidents like this will not happen again." when he addressed the grieving victims' relative, to which the crowd responded badly.
I will not pretend that I know about the South Korean's situation right now or even before. In fact, when I read that Running Man, Infinity Challenge, and many more South Korean entertainment shows were to be cancelled, it must have been a very huge incident. Turns out it was really bad. Hundreds of students gone just like that. From what I've read in the news, it seems like there are some unseen pent-up anger that had been boiling up deep beneath those people. To the point that the South Korean prime minister himself to announce his resignation, there must be more to this issue.
Whatever it is, I hope for only the best to all of those that were afflicted by the Sewol's disaster.