Cause of South Korean Ferry sinking

heri_clesApril 18, 2014

This accident has to bring tears to the eyes of anyone and especially of parents. I don't know what the cause was or even if it was the fault of the crew members that were guiding the ship in the absence of the Captain.
I mention that because almost everyone, including the parents of the victims, want to place the blame on the Captain and crew without knowing what caused the ship to sink.
Perhaps the Ferry hit a reef or some object but perhaps it just listed too far to one side and took on water.
This reminded me of the Eastland disaster in Chicago where over 800 souls drown when a ship capsized just a few feet off its moorings on the Chicago river. The passengers on the South Korean ferry may have made a similar mistake by going over to one side of the ship, causing the load to shift and turning the ship over too far.

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chase_gw

Only two life boats of over forty deployed and the Captain was in one of them.......that's all I need to know.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 2:45PM
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steve2416

I'm only speculating, but with the speed the ship filled and listed over there was definitely a hole torn in her side/bottom.
It is hard to imagine that passengers were told to remain in place rather than proceeding in a orderly fashion to one of the weather decks. After a ship lists over a certain angle, half of the lifeboats are nearly impossible to launch and the others difficult. Traditionally and morally, the Captain is supposed to be the last off the ship.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 3:34PM
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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Shades of the Costa Concordia.

Vada a bordo !

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 3:41PM
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heri_cles

The Captain's cowardice is or at least may be a separate issue from the cause of the sinking .
Are you familiar with the Eastland disaster?
There might be something wrong with the design of that South Korean Ferry or something happened that caused it to list and take on water. It may have been overloaded.
It is also possible that one of the large doors that allows autos to pull on the ship was somehow broken or that a large door like that was allowed to open.
It is most likely that they hit something, but that has not been determined yet.
Whatever the reason, this kind of disaster should not keep repeating itself.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Eastland

This post was edited by heri_cles on Sun, May 4, 14 at 6:07

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 4:46PM
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heri_cles

Only two life boats of over forty deployed and the Captain was in one of them.......that's all I need to know.

Really?
Most life boats were not even in a position to be deployed once the ship capsized. There was almost nothing right to do given the frigid deep waters and a ship that almost capsized immediately and was taking on water quickly and sinking.
The Captain's conduct and the crew;s conduct are separate issues from the cause of the sinking (the subject of the thread).

Preliminary investigation has now revealed that this ship was only rated to handle 986 tons of cargo and required to carry 2000 tons of ballast water to stay balanced.
The company that loaded the ship on its final voyage has now revealed that it was loaded with 3,608 tons of cargo and therefore did not have the right balance between cargo and ballast .

Given that condition, any slight turn could cause the ship to list and once she started sipping ocean water through the Ferry's open sides, it was all over rather quickly.

Initial reporting on this disaster in our news media has focused on the Captain for being a coward. However, the main issue was the failure to properly regulate a private company that put its own profit ahead of the safety of its passengers.

I guess government regulation of private industry is not as appealing for some news organizations to cover as a story about a Captain who saved himself rather than going down with the ship.

Here is a link that might be useful: New evidence emerges on cause of Ferry sinking

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 6:29AM
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pnbrown

" the main issue was the failure to properly regulate a private company that put its own profit ahead of the safety of its passengers."

I agree. We live in a place accessible only by ferry (or plane), so I ride them many times per year. The private company that operates the ferries is so closely controlled by gov and the coast guard that it is close to nominal. If it were unregulated I wouldn't live here.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 7:13AM
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