South Korean ferry captain is focus of investigation

Author:
Updated:
Original:

In a scenario that echoes the deadly Costa Concordia shipwreck, the captain of a ferry that sank off the coast of South Korea on Wednesday is facing a criminal investigation and is suspected of being one of the first people to abandon the doomed vessel.

Lee Joon-seok left the ferry on a lifeboat 32 minutes after reporting an accident, South Korean coast guard officials said.

The captain appeared on Korean television today.

"I am really sorry and deeply ashamed," he told a mob of reporters while hiding his face beneath a gray hoodie. "I don't know what to say."

It's unclear which of his actions could be considered criminal.

The Sewol ferry was carrying 475 passengers and crew when it capsized. Today, the government has said nine people were found dead and 179 were rescued, leaving about 290 people, most of them teenage schoolchildren, missing and possibly trapped in the vessel.

The 61-year-old captain allegedly escaped using the only one of the 46 life boats that functioned properly, according to a report by The Korea Herald.

Maritime police questioned Lee about the sinking for a second day and referred to him as a suspect. The previous day, he had been identified only as a witness.

Related

NMMA Confirms Industry Growth

NMMA president Frank Hugelmeyer said the boating business grew 12 percent last year during yesterday’s virtual State of the Boating Industry address.

Newport Show Dates Announced

Organizers are planning for an in-person Golden Anniversary edition of the show Sept. 16-19.

Quick Hits: March 5, 2021

The National Association of Manufacturers names Brunswick Corp. CFO Ryan Gwillim to its Board of Directors.

Caught Red-Handed

Two commercial fishermen were jailed for possessing an illegal haul that included 100 undersized lobster tails, which is a felony. Also, fisheries management gets new funding.

Bennington Expands Operations

The pontoon builder plans to add jobs at its new facility in Elkhart County, Ind., and increase manufacturing output.

KVH Industries Names CFO

Longtime telecom financial executive Roger A. Kuebel assumes the position that COO Brent Bruun had held in an interim capacity.