Video shows ferry captain abandoning ship

Mike Krumboltz
Yahoo News


Newly released footage from the Republic of Korea Coast Guard shows Captain Lee Jun-seok abandoning his sinking ferry with the help of rescue personnel.

The ferry capsized on April 16 off the coast of the island of Jindo. A total of 476 people were on board the ferry, many of them high school students. Nearly two weeks later, officials have confirmed the deaths of 187 passengers, but many are still unaccounted for and are presumed to have drowned. Including the captain, 174 people were rescued.

In the video, Lee can be seen wearing a dark sweater and underwear. The ferry appears to be at a steep incline as the captain is assisted onto a rescue vessel. The footage is only a few seconds long.

Lee had 40 years of experience at sea at the time of the sinking. He has said he is "deeply ashamed" of his actions. He was arrested and charged with negligence of duty and violation of maritime law. He faces life in prison.

Lee has drawn heavy criticism from all sides, including South Korean President Park Geun-hye, who called Lee's actions “tantamount to murder."  But the captain is not the only one facing blame. South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hung-won announced he will resign from his position. He has faced intense criticism over the government's early handling of the disaster.

The "cries of the families of those missing still keep me up at night," Chung said in a statement.

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