Korean ferry mate says couldn't reach lifeboat due to tilt

by Reuters
Tuesday, 22 April 2014 05:51 GMT

SEOUL, April 22 (Reuters) - A crew member of a South Korean ferry than sank last Wednesday said the crew tried to launch lifeboats, but could not get near because of the tilt of the ship.

News reports said he was a second mate but did not provide his name. He was one of four who have been detained and charged with negligence. The four stood with heads hanging low as they were questioned outside a court where he was questioned by prosecutors.

The ferry sank on a routine trip south from the port of Incheon to the holiday island of Jeju. Of the 476 passengers and crew on board, 339 were children and teachers on a high school outing. Only 174 people have been rescued and the remainder are all presumed to have drowned. The official death toll is over 100 and climbing. (Reporting by Jungmin Jang; Writing by Nick Macfie)

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